Ukraine's First Lady Asks US Congress for Weapons, Air Defense Systems

Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska appealed to US lawmakers for more weapons and air defense systems on July 20, as the war in Ukraine nears its sixth month.

In an address to Congress, the wife of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky spoke about Ukrainian victims of war. Zelenska showed photographs of citizens, some of whom children, killed in Russian attacks, including in recent strikes in Vinnytsia and Kremenchuk.

“Those are Russia’s ‘Hunger Games’, hunting for peaceful people in peaceful cities of Ukraine,” Zelenska said, according to an interpretation of her speech.

Later, Zelenska made a direct appeal for more weapons and air defense systems. “I am asking for weapons. Weapons that will 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,” Zelenska said.

“I am asking for air defense systems in order for rockets not to kill children in their strollers…and kill entire families.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress “remains with Ukraine as it fights to defend democracy not only for its people but for the world”, while Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Ukraine was seeking weapons “solely to defend themselves and economic assistance to stay in the fight” and that he would continue to support the country.

In an interview with Russian state media on Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia’s objectives in Ukraine had extended beyond the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk into the south.

“It is far from being only DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic), it is also Kherson Region, Zaporizhzhia Region and a number of other territories. And this process continues. And it continues consistently and persistently,” Lavrov told RIA Novosti, according to a translation. Credit: Olena Zelenska via Storyful

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