Ukraine’s first lady appeals to members of Congress for continued support in fight against Russian invasion

Speaking to members of Congress in Washington, D.C., the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, urged lawmakers to continue U.S. support of Ukraine's response to the Russian invasion that started nearly five months ago.

Video Transcript


INTERPRETER: You help us. And your help is very strong. While Russia kills, America saves. And you should know about it. We thank you for that.

But unfortunately, the war is not over. The terror continues. And I appeal to all of you on the behalf of those who were killed, on behalf of those people who lost their arms and legs, on behalf of those who are still alive and well and those who wait for their families to come back from the front. I'm asking for something now I would never want to ask. I am asking for weapons-- weapons that would not be used to wage a war on somebody else's land, but to protect one's home and the right to wake up alive in that home.

I'm asking for air defense systems, in order for rockets not to kill children in their strollers, in order for rockets not to destroy children's rooms and kill entire families. I know that you, ladies and gentlemen, will be leaving for the traditional congressional recess in a week. And all of you will be able to return to your offices in the fall, and probably all of you have already your calendar and schedule for September. This is normal.

And it is precisely this normalcy that we Ukrainians are deprived of now. Will my son be able to return to his school in the fall? I don't know, like millions of mothers in Ukraine. Will my daughter be able to go to university at the beginning of the academic year and experience normal student life? I cannot answer.

What should Ukrainian teachers prepare for-- to work in classrooms or in bomb shelters? We would have answers if we had air defense systems. In fact, the answer is right here in Washington, DC. America, unfortunately, knows from its own experience what terrorist attacks are and has always sought to defeat terrorism.

Help us to stop this terror against Ukrainians. And this will be our joint great victory in the name of life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness of every person, every family. This is what I'm asking for and what my husband is asking for-- not as a presidential couple, but as parents and children of their parents.

Because we want every father and every mother to be able to tell their child, go to sleep peacefully, there will be no more airstrikes, no more missile strikes. Is this too much to wish for? The fact that I am here as the first lady of my country and have this opportunity to talk to you about weapons is a manifestation of the greatest equality. This is the equality among free people, people who know what they are protecting, they know what they live for.

I hope you heard me today. And I hope that your decisions will be speedy. Thank you for your attention. Glory to Ukraine.