Ukraine’s first lady addresses Congress.
Ukraine’s first lady addressed Congress on Wednesday, asking for more weapons to defend herself against what she called “Russian Hunger Games,” which kill children and tear families apart.
“I don’t want to address you as a first lady, but as a daughter and a mother,” Olena Zelenska told the assembled lawmakers. “An unprovoked invasive terrorist war is being waged against my country.”
“Russia is destroying our people,” she added.
The speech came a day after Ms. Zelenska had met Jill Biden at the White House as their husbands try to draw the world’s attention to the war ravaging Ukraine and the greater threat posed by Russian aggression.
Speaker of the House, California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, said in a letter to House colleagues ahead of the speech that “the brutality of the Russian aggression and the treatment of women and children has horrified the American people, and these crimes were of particular concern to the female members of Congress.”
Talks between Ms Zelenska and Dr Biden on Tuesday came just over two months after the two first met during Dr Biden’s unannounced visit to western Ukraine. The meetings underlined how the war has drastically reshaped their roles in recent months.
Ms. Zelenska, 44, who once focused on issues such as women’s empowerment, literacy and culture in Ukraine, has used her profile to raise awareness about Russian crimes against children and elderly citizens.
She met her future husband, Volodymyr Zelensky, when they were students at several universities in their hometown, the industrial city of Kryvyi Rih. She later became a screenwriter at Kvartal 95, the production company that Mr. Zelensky founded before swapping comic book actor for the presidency — then became wartime president.
In a message on Telegram, Ms Zelenska said she sought help from the US government and industry for a program to give prosthetic limbs to Ukrainian children who have stepped on landmines or been maimed in bombings.