Zelensky Addresses Lawmakers

Senators agree to try to get Ukraine fighter jets
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2022 5:25 PM CST
Zelensky Appeals to Congress
Ukrainians crowd under the remains of a bridge Saturday as they try to flee across the Irpin River on the outskirts of Kyiv.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took his case for more weapons directly to Congress on Saturday, addressing lawmakers in a Zoom call. About 300 members of the House and Senate heard him describe "the urgent need" for increased military and humanitarian aid to help Ukraine fight off the Russian invasion, the Washington Post reports. Sounding defiant, lawmakers said, Zelensky also argued for a global ban on the purchase of Russian oil. "He is standing strong but pleaded for more help," said Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, per the New York Times.

Asked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell what Ukraine needs most, Zelensky said fighter jets, per the Wall Street Journal. He also raised the already-rejected idea of a no-fly zone over Ukraine. "If you can't do that, at least get me planes," the president said. Military jets would be more help than the Stinger antiaircraft missiles that the US is sending, he said. Allies in Eastern Europe have Russian military jets that could be turned over to Ukraine, and senators including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said they'd work on facilitating that. Lawmakers joined the call Saturday from their cars and homes and airports. Zelensky told them it might be the last time they see him alive. (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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