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Live updates: Russia invades Ukraine and Zelensky addresses congress

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, March 16.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, March 16. (Pool)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made references to Mount Rushmore, the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in his pitch to American lawmakers in Congress on Wednesday.

“Russia has attacked not just us, not just our land, not just our cities. It went on a brutal offensive against our values, basic human values,” he said, speaking through a translator. “It threw tanks and planes against our freedom, against our right to live freely in our own country, choosing our own future. Against our desire for happiness, against our national dream, just like the same dreams you have, you, Americans. Just like anyone else in the United States.

“I remember your national memorial in Rushmore, the faces of your prominent presidents, those who laid the foundation of the United States of America as it is today, democracy, independence, freedom and care for everyone, for every person, for everyone who works diligently, who lives honestly, who respects the law,” he continued.

Zelensky also asked lawmakers to remember the attacks of Pearl Harbor in World War II and on the World Trade Center in 2001 in considering his request for help.

“Remember Pearl Harbor, the terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you. Just remember it. Remember September 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories, into battlefields. When innocent people were attacked, attacked from air,” he said.

“Just like nobody else expected it, you could not stop it. Our country experienced the same every day.”

Zelensky also invoked the famous words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in asking for military help: “I have a dream, these words are known to each of you today I can say. I have a need, I need to protect our sky. I need your decision, your help, which means exactly the same, the same you feel when you hear the words ‘I have a dream.’ “


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