Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky once again requested America and her NATO allies establish a no fly zone over Ukrainian airspace, a de facto act of war against Russia, in an emotional plea to the U.S. Congress this morning.
“Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided, the destiny of our people whether Ukrainians will be free, whether they will be able to preserve their democracy,” Zelensky declared. “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.”
In the video address, which was presided over by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Zelensky invoked the 9/11 terrorist attack and the attack on Pearl Harbor as outrageous assaults on the American homeland comparable to what Ukraine is experiencing every single day as a result of Russia’s invasion of the country. In a speech to the UK Parliament on March 8, Zelensky invoked former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and poet William Shakespeare in an effort to resonate with the British public, a strategy he pursued with his speech to the U.S. Congress as well.
As negotiations between Ukraine and Russia continue, Zelensky’s emotional rhetoric and dangerous demands – including the establishment of a no fly zone over Ukraine’s skies by NATO and requests for more defensive weaponry and fighter jet aircraft – have the potential to escalate the conflict further.
“Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people,” Zelensky dramatically stated. “Russian troops have already fired nearly 1,000 missiles at Ukraine, countless bombs, they use drones to kill us with precision. This is a terror that Europe has not seen for 80 years, and we are asking for a reply, 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?”
Thus far, Western leaders and NATO officials have refused to establish a no fly zone, viewing such a move as essentially an act of war against Russia, which will no doubt ignite an even wider war.
“If this is too much to ask – we offer an alternative,” Zelensky continued. “You know what kind of defense systems we need. S-300 and other similar systems. Aircraft that can help Ukraine, help Europe. You know that they exist, and that you have them… they do not defend our people [currently].”
Zelensky went on to invoke Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous words “I have a dream,” stating the he “has a need” for either the establishment of a no fly zone or defensive weaponry, including anti-aircraft missiles and fighter jets, to combat the Russian invasion and end its air superiority over Ukraine’s skies.
Zelensky also called for even more sanctions against Russia in order to crush the country economically. “I call on you to do more,” Zelensky implored. “New packages of sanctions are needed, constantly, every week, until the Russian military machine stops.”
He continued: “We propose that the United States sanction all politicians in the Russian Federation who remain in their offices and do not cut ties with those who are responsible for the aggression against Ukraine. All American companies must leave Russia’s market immediately because it is flooded with our blood.”
He denounced the current international order and global institutions for failing to prevent the Russian attack, and called for new international alliances and organizations to ensure peace and punish rogue nations.
Entirely left out of the speech and media coverage was the historical background leading up to Russia’s invasion, along with the repeated attempts at negotiation Russian diplomatic and political leaders have made in an effort to peacefully resolve the crisis. Russian leaders have insisted that NATO expansion generally into Eastern Europe was a major national security concern representing an existential threat, a fact long recognized by American officials, politicians, diplomats, academics and other geopolitical analysts.
Russia has made clear it views NATO and Ukrainian collaboration as unacceptable, particularly given the long history of Western manipulation and interference in Ukraine’s political affairs which has been designed to undermine its relationship with Russia and turn the country towards the West, the EU and NATO.
Just before concluding his emotional speech, Zelensky showed a brief video of clips allegedly depicting the situation in Ukraine – clips of missile strikes, burning buildings, dead bodies, suffering civilians including women and children, and other traumatizing imagery designed to psychologically and emotionally manipulate an audience. The video concluded with a message to the U.S. Congress: close the sky over Ukraine.
Following the video, Zelensky ended his speech in broken English, imploring the U.S. to be “the leader of the world, the leader of peace.”
“Today, the Ukrainian people are defending not only Ukraine, we are fighting for the values of Europe and the world, sacrificing our lives in the name of the future,” Zelensky stated.
Thus far, Ukrainian and Russian negotiators have failed to reach a deal to end the conflict and resolve the deep-rooted geopolitical issues at hand. Zelensky’s emotional appeal to the U.S. Congress can only be seen as a further escalation of the already existing tensions and a demonstration of Ukrainian belligerence, which has been encouraged and provoked by Western powers in an entirely irresponsible and dangerous manner.