WASHINGTON — All eyes were on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday morning at the U.S. Capitol as he addressed members of Congress in a livestreamed address. Zelenskyy summoned the memory of Pearl Harbor and the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in his plea for help as his nation's fight against Russia continues.
For the first time in a public address to world leaders, Zelenskyy showed a graphic video of the destruction and devastation his country has suffered in the war, along with heartbreaking scenes of civilian casualties.
“We need you right now,” Zelenskyy said. "I call on you to do more.”
Here is the reaction to Zelenskyy's address from some of Ohio's members of Congress:
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH): “Today President Zelenskyy made it clear that Ukraine needs more resources to defend itself and its freedom, and that’s what the U.S. is providing. President Biden is announcing dramatic new military assistance for Ukraine today, and I will continue working with the president to ensure Ukrainians are armed with effective military tools – including those designed to strengthen their air defenses – and are supported by strong sanctions, without needlessly escalating Putin’s war. I also share President Zelenskyy’s call for corporations to join this fight – no one should be profiting off of this invasion, from Big Oil to corporations that continue to do business in Putin’s backyard. President Zelenskyy and his people are fighting for the values Americans all share – freedom, democracy, the right to determine their own destiny – and we must all continue to stand united with them.”
U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH): "President Zelenskyy gave a very powerful address. He showed his heart of courage and bravery that I know he possesses from the numerous times I’ve met with him personally. The Biden administration must respond with more lethal assistance, including the airplanes, anti-air weapons, and tightened sanctions immediately. If they won’t, then Congress must again act in a bipartisan way with more help. Congress recently provided nearly $14 billion in additional assistance for military aid and the humanitarian crisis, which I saw firsthand in Poland last weekend. This will help, but we must do more, and faster. There can be no excuse for a gap in the flow of arms to Ukraine."
Rep. Shontel Brown (D-11): “It was an honor to listen to President Zelenskyy’s moving speech to Congress this morning. President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people have shown inspiring courage and determination in the face of untold pain and suffering due to Russia’s unprovoked war. America must continue to stand with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine fighting for peace, freedom and democracy. I was proud to vote for billions in security and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine last week, and I remain committed to working with President Biden and my colleagues in Congress to support the brave people of Ukraine.”
Rep. Dave Joyce (R-14):
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-13):
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-9): "President Zelenskyy’s clear appeal for further assistance to combat Russia’s war has broad support in Congress, including from me. Just last week, I joined with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to vote for nearly $14 billion in additional defensive, economic, and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
Yet, because of Russia’s far larger military budget and troop levels, this additional assistance is necessary but not enough. Russia’s airpower and nuclear arsenal have the ability to level Ukraine and all of Europe.
The valor of the Ukrainian people in the face of this unprovoked attack is awe inspiring, and necessitates greater support from the world to isolate and defeat Vladimir Putin.
Putin’s invasion of a nation that seeks to be free, peaceful, and democratic has transformed Ukraine into not only the scrimmage line for Liberty in Europe – but the scrimmage line for Liberty throughout the world.
The Free World must beat back this illegal upending of the international rule of law. Democratic nations must assure the security of nations like Ukraine when they are threatened by ruthless outlaws.
President Zelenskyy’s call for the establishment of a new global security arrangement to defend nations like Ukraine against their enemies makes sense. Members of the United Nations, NATO, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe must do exactly that.
The United Nations should convene 24 hours a day until full, devastating sanctions are effectively imposed on Russia, and a cease fire is negotiated. NATO should convene to assure Ukraine has support from democratic nations regardless of membership.
Ukraine must not be subjected to annihilation by a beast as the rest of the world watches. If this test of Ukraine’s sovereignty is not met forcefully, the beast will feast on whatever prey it seeks. The task of defending Liberty is not one we should defer to our children and grandchildren – it is one we must embrace now.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-4):
Nataliya Dudzianyi was born in Ukraine and spent her childhood there before coming to the United States. Today she lives in Parma, but her ties to the country are still strong, with her grandparents and cousins still calling Western Ukraine home.
She echoed President Zelenskyy's requests for a no-fly zone, planes, and the formation of a new union of countries.
“At least helping with a no-fly zone, there’s at least one element of an attack that’s removed, or at least substantially decreased to where people can at least flee,” she said.
"If the United States or NATO does decide to do a no-fly zone, nobody in any history book is ever going to say they started a World War III because everybody knows that this is all on Russia's shoulders," she added about the no-fly zone.
Dudzianyi said that she is grateful for everything the United States has done, and thanked the U.S. for everything done so far. However, she said more can still be done, and she does not want Russia to get away with a slap on the wrist.
"This is all in a humanitarian effort," she said. "It is not to invade, it is not to start a World War III," she said. "It is to help save lives. And that’s the bottom line.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report