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Ukraine’s first woman tells the U.S. Congress that ‘Russia is destroying our folks.’

Ukraine’s first woman addressed the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, asking for extra weapons to defend towards what she referred to as the “Russian starvation video games” killing youngsters and ripping aside households.

“I need to deal with you not as a primary woman however as a daughter and a mom,” Olena Zelenska, advised the lawmakers.

“An unprovoked invasive terrorist battle is being waged towards my nation,” she added. “Russia is destroying our folks.”

In a uncommon look by a overseas first partner earlier than Congress, Ms. Zelenska confirmed images of kids whose lives had been destroyed by the battle. Amongst them was Sophia, a lady from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, who Ms. Zelenska stated had misplaced her mom and her arm in the course of the battle.

Ukraine’s first woman met her future husband, Volodymyr Zelensky, after they had been nonetheless college students at completely different universities of their hometown, the commercial metropolis of Kryvyi Rih. She later turned a script author at Kvartal 95, the manufacturing firm that Mr. Zelensky based earlier than he traded comedian performing for the presidency — after which turned a wartime president.

Previous to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ms. Zelenska, 44, targeted on problems with feminine empowerment, literacy and tradition in Ukraine. However the battle has since thrust her into the worldwide highlight. In current weeks, she has stepped ahead extra on social media, and has used her profile to boost consciousness about Russian crimes towards youngsters and older residents.

Throughout her speech she additionally described a 4-year-old lady killed in Vinnytsia, in a missile assault within the central Ukrainian metropolis that killed 25 folks; a 5-year-old who died in a shopping center assault and a 3-year-old boy who misplaced his legs and is studying to make use of a prosthesis.

She requested the members of Congress for extra weapons, together with air protection programs, earlier than they depart for his or her August recess, in order that “our children will not be going to be killed.”

Her emotional plea garnered a 30-second standing ovation from congressional leaders. As Ms. Zelenska exited, a number of members of Congress provided a handshake.

Consultant Invoice Pascrell, Democrat of New Jersey, draped a Ukrainian flag round his shoulders and made a peace signal as Ms. Zelenska concluded her speech.

The Home speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, stated in a letter to Home colleagues earlier than the speech that “the brutality of Russian aggression and the remedy of ladies and youngsters have horrified the American folks, and these crimes have been of explicit concern to the ladies members of Congress.”

Ms. Zelenska’s speech got here a day after she met U.S. first woman Jill Biden on the White Home. The assembly between the 2 girls, who beforehand met in Might throughout Dr. Biden’s unannounced go to in western Ukraine, underscored how the battle has dramatically reshaped their roles in current months.

In a put up on Telegram, Ms. Zelenska stated she was in search of assist from the American authorities and enterprise group for a program to offer prosthetic limbs to Ukrainian youngsters who stepped on land mines or had been maimed in bombardments.



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