The Ukrainian president has asked the US Congress in Washington to “remember” Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attacks, when “innocent people” were attacked from the air, as he called for more support.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy was greeted with a standing ovation ahead of his powerful remarks, which he made through a video link from Ukraine.
Echoing the words of Martin Luther King, Mr Zelenskyy told US politicians: “I have a dream… I have a need… I need to protect our sky – I need your decision, your help.
“Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death.”
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He added Russia had “attacked not just us, not just our land, not just our cities, it went on a brutal offensive against our values”.
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Referring to the 9/11 attacks and Pearl Harbor, he told Congress “you could not stop it – our country experienced the same every day”.
He added: “Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided.”
During a meeting of the House of Representatives and Senate, Mr Zelenskyy urged Congress to provide more weapons to help his country fight off Russian airstrikes.
He said: “This is a terror that Europe has not seen for 80 years, and we are asking for our life, for an answer to this terror from the whole world. Is this a lot to ask for? To create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people?
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“If this is too much to ask, we offer an alternative. You know what kind of defence systems we need.”
The US and the international community has warned that imposing a no-fly zone could escalate the war with nuclear-armed Russia.
Mr Zelenskyy showed a video containing graphic images of death and destruction from the conflict that ended with “close the sky over Ukraine”.
He called for further sanctions against Russia, including the withdrawal of all US businesses.
The Ukrainian leader closed his address with a direct plea in English to US President Joe Biden: “I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”
Mr Zelenskyy said Russia had gone on a ‘brutal offensive’
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It is rare for foreign leaders to address the the US Congress during a time of conflict.
In 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke to Congress weeks after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor drew the US into World War Two.