Nancy Pelosi says Volodymyr Zelensky's speech was 'historic'
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Outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi applauded Volodymyr Zelensky for his defence of democracy and Europe against the “tyranny” of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, comparing the Ukrainian President to Winston Churchill. In a rousing address to Congress, Ukraine’s President channelled the words of the wartime Prime Minister, saying his country “will never surrender” against Russia. The two statesmen went to the US Congress during wartime, requesting military and logistical aid to face off enemies of democracy and freedom.
After the speech at a joint session in Congress, Nancy Pelosi compared the two war-time leaders, saying: “That was one of the finest speeches I’ve ever heard in the Congress.
“It was historic in that he and Churchill are the only two war-time presidents who have come here to talk, asking our help and thanking us for our anticipated help to stop the tyranny in Europe.
“This is pretty exciting.”
The Speaker can then be seen waving the Ukrainian flag to the camera before addressing fellow Congressmen: “Wasn’t it great?” she asked them, smiling from ear to ear.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday appealed for American support, as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill did more than 80 years before.
Similarly to Mr Churchill in December 1941, President Zelenskyy made his trip to Washington while his nation was under constant attack and needed international assistance to continue fighting.
“Ukraine holds its lines and will never surrender,” the Ukrainian leader told Congress, echoing one of Churchill’s most famous phrases and earning a standing ovation.
Earlier this year, President Zelensky channelled Churchill in a video address to Britain’s House of Commons, pledging to “fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he had told President Zelensky “that where Winston Churchill stood generations ago, so too does he tonight not just as a president but as an ambassador for freedom itself.”
Sir Churchill spent Christmas of 1941 in the White House Washington at President Franklin Roosevelt’s request to plot a strategy and counter Germany’s Nazi regime. In a famous speech to the US Congress, Mr Churchill said: “Some people may be startled or momentarily depressed when, like your president, I speak of a long and a hard war. Our peoples would rather know the truth, somber though it be.
“And after all, when we are doing the noblest work in the world, not only defending our hearths and homes, but the cause of freedom in every land, the question of whether deliverance comes in 1942 or 1943 or 1944, falls into its proper place in the grand proportions of human history.”
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President Zelensky also raised the significance of the historic moment, telling Congressmen: “This battle cannot be frozen or postponed. It cannot be ignored, hoping that the ocean or something else will provide a protection.
“From the United States to China, from Europe to Latin America, and from Africa to Australia, the world is too interconnected and interdependent to allow someone to stay aside and at the same time to feel safe when such a battle continues.”
Referring to Sir Churchill’s own battle against Nazi Germany, the Ukrainian leader said: “Standing here today, I recall the wars of the president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which are I think so good for this moment. The American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory. The Ukrainian people will win, too, absolutely.”
The US Congress is poised to announce a a $1.8billion military aid package for Kyiv, which will for the first time include a Patriot missile battery and precision-guided bombs for Ukrainian fighter jets.
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