Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells US Congress ‘we have defeated Russia in battle for world minds’ | World News

Speaking to the US Congress, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine was “vibrant” and “will never surrender”.

Mr. Zelensky When he entered the chamber to deliver what he called a “speech to America,” he received a prolonged standing ovation.

“With all the doom and gloom, Ukraine is not down. Ukraine is alive,” he said.

“We beat Russia in the battle for the minds of the world.”

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Zelensky gets a standing ovation

He promises ‘no compromise’ in trying to end war, vows Ukraine “Never Surrender”.

Zelensky said the aid to Ukraine was “not charity” but an investment in global security and democracy.

He said the conflict showed how democracy is being tested around the world, with outcomes that will affect the world for generations.

“This fight will determine what kind of world our children and grandchildren will live in, and then their children and grandchildren,” he said.

He then presented a flag to the US Congress, presented to him by defenders of the front-line city of Bakhmut, which he visited on Tuesday.

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, right, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presents a Ukrainian flag to lawmakers in Bahmut, Ukraine's disputed Donetsk province Response Wednesday, December 12, on Capitol Hill, Washington.  21, 2022.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hold Ukrainian flags presented by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.Photo: Associated Press

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented Mr. Zelenskyy with a folded and framed American flag that flew over the Capitol earlier in the day.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds up an American flag presented to him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Image: AP/J.Scott Applewhite
President Zelensky holds an American flag, a gift from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.Photo: Associated Press

Earlier, President Joe Biden said that “the United States will continue to support Ukraine against Russia for as long as needed”.

He outlined further military support at a White House news conference and stood on the podium next to Mr Zelensky, paying tribute to Ukrainians for their “stealing backbone, love of country and unwavering determination to choose their own path” .

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$1.85 billion support package for Ukraine

“The American people are ready for us to stand up to our bullies and stand up for our freedom. That’s who we are,” he said.

Mr Biden said Ukraine was “defying Russia’s expectations at every turn”, adding: “The American people are with you every step of the way and we will be with you … as long as needed.”

“Together we will keep the flame of freedom burning,” he added.

Mr. Zelensky thanked the United States and the American people for their support, especially the Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system, and said that “every dollar invested by the United States will be used to strengthen global security”.

“This is the only way we can deprive terrorist states of their main tools of terror — the possibility of attacking our cities, our energy,” Mr Zelensky said.

Mr Biden said the Patriot system was “a defensive system, it doesn’t escalate, it’s defensive”.

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Zelensky laughs with Biden

US President and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had earlier said the US would provide Ukraine with $1.85 billion (£1.53 billion) in additional military aid, including the transfer of Patriot systems.

During the meeting, Ukraine’s president said his country’s defenses would be strengthened in the coming months, but would not provide further details, saying Russia was responsible for its actions.

Mr Zelensky, on his first trip abroad since the Russian invasion in February, A reporter asked him what message he wanted to convey to the American people. He replied: “My message is: I wish you well.

“Stay with us because we’re really fighting for our mutual victory against this tyranny…we’re going to win. And I really want to win together. No, sorry…I’m sure.”

Mr Zelensky also said the war would end once Ukraine’s sovereignty, freedom and territorial integrity had been restored and “all losses from Russian aggression paid off”.

Earlier, at a fireside ceremony at the White House, Mr Zelensky presented Mr Biden with a medal originally awarded to a Ukrainian military captain for bravery. The captain said he wanted the US president to get it because he supports Ukraine.

Accepting the medal, Mr Biden said: “Oh, God loves you…not worth it, but thank you very much.”

President Zelensky presents Mr Biden with a medal in the Oval Office

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The highly sensitive visit comes after a brutal 10-month war that has claimed tens of thousands of casualties on both sides and devastated Ukrainian civilians.

Shortly after arriving in the US, Mr Zelensky posted on his Telegram account his determination to win the war with Russia, writing: “Next year we must give back the Ukrainian flag and freedom to our entire country, to all our people.”

The US has so far provided about $50bn (£41bn) in aid to the Kyiv government to fend off a Russian invasion that began 10 months ago.

Leigh Turner, the former British ambassador to Ukraine, told Sky News Mr Zelenskyy’s main aim was to take the fatigue out of backing the country’s response to what could be a “long and hard war”.

He said: “In the beginning, everyone supported Ukraine, every Western government and the people of the UK and the US strongly supported Ukraine, from providing weapons to hosting refugees.

“Ten months later, winter is here, and there are many other crises … Even some U.S. lawmakers, mostly Republican, voted against more aid to Ukraine.”

President Biden said he was “not at all worried” about forming an international coalition in support of Ukraine, saying he had never seen the NATO alliance or the European Union so united.

“I don’t see any sign of that changing. We all know what’s at stake here,” he said.

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