Mar 16, 2022 - World

Zelensky pleads to Biden in English: Be "the leader of the world"

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked President Biden to be "leader of the world" during his address to Congress, pleading for more assistance as Russia's unprovoked invasion of his country continues.

What he's saying: "Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace. Peace in your country doesn't depend anymore only on you and your people. It depends on those next to you, on those who are strong. Strong doesn't mean weak. Strong is brave and ready to fight for the life of his citizens and citizens of the world. For human rights, for freedom, for the right to live decently," Zelensky said in English, toward the end of his speech.

  • As leader of the world, you must be ready "to die when your time comes," he added.
  • "I am addressing President Biden," Zelensky said. "You are the leader of the nation, of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world."

The big picture: Speaking directly to Congress and the American people, Zelensky thanked Biden and Congress for their support but urged them to "do more" in the "darkest time" that Europe has seen in 80 years.

  • During his remarks, he played a graphic video showing the destruction inflicted by Russia on Ukraine. A caption saying "close the sky over Ukraine" was displayed at the end of the video. [CONTENT WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE]

Between the lines: The U.S. has continuously asserted its position against establishing a "no-fly zone."

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden believes doing so could "be escalatory and could prompt a war with Russia."

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