In Congress, Zelenskyy champions freedom from tyranny


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, dressed in his signature olive fatigues, strode into the U.S. House of Representatives last night to a standing ovation that lasted a full four minutes.

“I hope my words of respect and gratitude resonate in each American heart,” he finally began, celebrating Ukraine’s triumph over the odds, thanks to U.S. and global support. “We defeated Russia in the battle for minds in the world.”

Why We Wrote This

The unlikely wartime leader, the first to speak to Congress since Winston Churchill, celebrated the West’s victory in winning global hearts. He added that Russian freedom would start by defeating “the Kremlin in their minds.”

Mr. Zelenskyy asked Congress, which is weighing another $47 billion in aid to Ukraine, to use its authority to “save millions” of people. But he also underscored that as much as military equipment is crucial to winning a war on the ground, the most important battlefield is in hearts and minds. His case was simple, yet profound: Your commitment to ideals drove your seminal victories, which inspires our own war of independence. But this is your fight, too. This is a battle to preserve the values you hold dear – not only for us, or for you, but for the whole world, including Russians.

“Russians will stand a chance to be free only when they defeat the Kremlin in their minds,” said Mr. Zelenskyy.

At a time when so many see American democracy imperiled by division and discord, members of Congress came together last night to champion a man fresh off the front lines of a more raw fight for democracy.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, dressed in his signature olive fatigues, strode into the chamber to a standing ovation, took the podium, and then shuffled uncomfortably as the crowd whooped and cheered for a full four minutes. 

“Thank you, it’s too much for me,” Mr. Zelenskyy said, when the applause finally waned. “All this for our great people, thanks so much.”

Why We Wrote This

The unlikely wartime leader, the first to speak to Congress since Winston Churchill, celebrated the West’s victory in winning global hearts. He added that Russian freedom would start by defeating “the Kremlin in their minds.”

“I hope my words of respect and gratitude resonate in each American heart,” he began. “It’s a great honor for me to be at the U.S. Congress and speak to you and all Americans. Against all odds, and doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine didn’t fall. Ukraine is alive and kicking.”

Another standing ovation.



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