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Zelensky speech – live: Biden calls Putin ‘war criminal’ after Ukraine leader’s stirring Congress address – The Independent

Zelensky asks Americans to remember Pearl Harbour and 9/11

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has addressed the US Congress virtually after being invited by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He received a standing ovation when he appeared on the screen before lawmakers.

During his remarks, he called on the US to remember Pearl Harbour and the September 11 terrorist attacks as it sees the people of Ukraine attacked and killed by Russian forces.

The Ukrainian president told lawmakers in his wartime address to Congress on Wednesday that Ukraine “experiences the same every day” now as America did during its own darkest days.

Mr Zelensky also asked Congress for Soviet-made air defence systems and fighter jets as an alternative to a Nato-enforced humanitarian no-fly zone over his country’s airspace.

US and Nato officials have so far declined his pleas for a no-fly zone over Ukraine to avoid allied planes being at risk of direct engagement with Russian aircraft, raising the possibility of a nuclear confrontation.

President Joe Biden has responded to Mr Zelensky’s remarks by announcing $800m (£612m) of new aid, bringing the total aid sent to Ukraine in the last week alone to $1bn.

This new support includes 800 anti-aircraft systems; 9,000 anti-armor systems; 7,000 machine guns, shotguns and grenade launchers with 20 million rounds of ammunition; and 100 drones.

Later Mr Biden referred to Mr Putin as a “war criminal” for the first time. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said he was “speaking from the heart”.

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US looking ‘very hard’ at whether Russia ‘deliberately’ targeting journalists

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the US is “looking very hard” at whether Russia is “deliberately” targeting journalists covering the war in Ukraine, after at least three have been killed and several more injured by Kremlin forces in the last few days alone.

Oliver O’Connell17 March 2022 06:00

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American financier slammed for questioning Zelensky’s T-shirt

American financier Peter Schiff was mercilessly mocked after he asked why Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t wear a suit while addressing members of the US Congress on Wednesday.

“I understand times are hard, but doesn’t the President of the Ukraine own a suit,” Mr Schiff, a one-time Republican candidate, asked on Twitter.

He added: “I don’t have much respect for current members of the US Congress either, but I still wouldn’t address them wearing a t-shirt. I wouldn’t want to disrespect the institution or the United States”.

Netizens tore into Mr Schiff for his insensitive tweet about the war-time president. One user shared a photograph of the bombed city of Kharkiv and wrote: “Yo, Pete. He tried to pick up his suits at the dry cleaners but they said they couldn’t find them”.

“This may literally be the worst take ever tweeted. Literally, the worst possible take ever tweeted — and given that this is Twitter, that’s pretty damn bad,” wrote user Stonekettle.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar17 March 2022 05:44

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Manchin seen swiping on iPad and Greene on phone during Zelensky’s speech

As Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to the United States Congress, some lawmakers were more captivated by their devices than by the address.

Viral clips showed senator Joe Manchin swiped on his iPad during Mr Zelensky’s historic speech, while Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared not to participate in a standing ovation for the Ukrainian leader, instead of rooting around for her phone.

In the video of Mr Manchin, Mr Zelensky can be heard begging Congress for help fending off the Russian invasion.

Nathan Place has more.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar17 March 2022 05:15

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GOP can’t resist using Zelensky speech to attack Biden

News analysis: Top House Republicans went from a bipartisan standing ovation for Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to bashing President Biden in a matter of minutes, Andrew Feinberg writes.

Oliver O’Connell17 March 2022 05:00

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Voices | Zelensky’s address to Congress was direct and disturbing

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s address — made from a nondescript room next to a Ukrainian flag — was direct and to-the-point. For the first half, he spoke in Ukrainian and his speech was overlaid by a translator.

He spoke of “the worst war since World War Two” unfolding in his country, and the dreams of his citizens being blown apart “just like the same dreams you, Americans, have — just like anyone in the United States.”His turns of phrase were very American: Russia “attacked not just us; they went on a brutal offensive against our values,” he said; Ukrainians just want to be able to “preserve our democracy”.

He invoked Mount Rushmore and deliberately echoed Martin Luther King Jr’s famous civil rights speech: “I have a dream. Those words are known to each of you, and today I say to you: I have a need,” writes Holly Baxter.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar17 March 2022 04:59

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Biden calls Putin a ‘war criminal’ for Ukraine invasion

President Joe Biden told reporters in the East Room of the White House that he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was a war criminal for his invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Biden was caught on video responding to a question from Fox News’s Jacqui Heinrich asking if the Russian president was a war criminal. Initially, Mr Biden said “no” before he came back, clarified his response to Ms Heinrich and then said “he is a war criminal”.

Oliver O’Connell17 March 2022 04:05

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New military aid for Ukraine announced by Biden

President Joe Biden announced addition aid to Ukraine, hours after as the embattled nation’s president appealed to Congress to enact a no-fly zone as Russia continues its assault.

Mr Biden said he listened to Mr Zelensky’s joint address to Congress in his private residence and praised the leader’s resolve.

“He speaks for a people who have shown remarkable courage and strength in the face of brutal aggression,” Mr Biden said. “Courage and strength that’s inspired not just Ukrainians, but the entire world.”

Oliver O’Connell17 March 2022 03:15

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Biden sees rare support from GOP after Zelensky speech

The Republican establishment in Washington is warming to President Joe Biden’s response to Russia’s invasion, while some on the far right question whether to support Ukraine at all.

After Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the US Congress on Wednesday in a historic virtual speech from his secure location in Kyev, GOP lawmakers had little criticism for the embattled leader’s US counterpart – a rare respite from the hardline opposition Republican leaders have shown the White House for months.

Oliver O’Connell17 March 2022 02:30

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Biden says US will assist Ukraine with acquiring ‘longer-range’ anti-aircraft systems

The United States will assist Ukraine’s efforts to acquire the anti-aircraft systems needed to secure the country’s airspace against invading Russian forces, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday.

Mr Biden made the announcement just before signing an order authorising provision of $800m in defence aid to Kyiv, bringing the total of US defence assistance authorised this week to a “historic” $1bn.

Speaking hours after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky asked the US Congress for “powerful, strong” aviation systems to help defend his country, Mr Biden hailed the Ukrainian leader’s “convincing and significant” speech.

Oliver O’Connell17 March 2022 01:45

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Zelensky makes urgent appeal to Congress for no-fly zone

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a stirring speech to the US Congress, pleading directly to President Joe Biden for additional military assistance as the war-torn nation battles Russia’s bloody offensive.

Members of Congress gave Mr Zelensky a standing ovation as he delivered a virtual joint address on Wednesday, roughly three weeks since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Zelensky spoke to both chambers of Congress as he pushed for the United States to do more and send more armaments to Ukraine as Russia continues its war on Ukraine.

Oliver O’Connell17 March 2022 01:15