Zelensky Appeals For Tanks & Warplanes, Invokes FDR’s “Absolute Victory”, Before Enthusiastic Congress

Summary: Zelensky spoke for a little over 30 minutes and in English, at times invoking key US historical moments from the Battle of Saratoga to the Battle of the Bulge (and comparing the courage of Ukrainian soldiers), after he was greeted as a ‘hero’ in a minutes-long standing ovation. He asserted that Ukraine is winning “against all odds”. He was throughout frequently interrupted by standing ovations from a partially filled Congress, which was missing a lot of Republicans, in part given a number of lawmakers had already traveled home for the holidays ahead of the unexpected in-person visit, and facing incoming severe weather.

Zelensky peppered the speech with positive and optimistic statements like “Ukraine holds its lines and will never surrender,” and “but our defense forces stand” – especially offering the latest example of Bakhmut, in the Donbas. As expected, a major theme was the need for continued US support, for which he thanked the Biden administration, Congress, and the American people.

“The occupiers have an advantage in artillery and much more heavy equipment like tanks and airplanes,” he began a section of the address in which he appealed for continued aid. “Your support is crucial… to get to the turning point on the battlefield.”