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Zelensky calls on Biden to send Russia strong message in State of the Union speech

Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Vadim Chuprina/WikiCommons)
March 01, 2022

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on U.S. President Joe Biden to deliver a strong message about Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

“He is one of the leaders of the world and it is very important that the people of the United States understand despite the fact that the war is in Ukraine … it is [a] war for the values of democracy, freedom,” Zelensky told CNN.

Zelensky also reiterated a request he has made to the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine or, barring that, to send NATO troops into Ukraine.

“I’ve already addressed and (spoken) to some Western leaders with this request, because I do believe that leaders do have to support democratic countries and they have to help them,” Zelensky said. “When we talk about no-fly (zones), we’re looking back into history … and that doesn’t mean that we need to draw another country into the war. And, frankly, you know, everyone is drawn into the war now.”

Zelensky said he has spoken to Biden several times, with requests for U.S. support.

“I’ve told them many times that Ukraine will resist and fight stronger than anyone else but on our own against Russia we won’t manage it,” Zelensky said. “That’s why if somebody wants to help us, everybody has to act swiftly. This is the moment.”

Zelensky has rejected at least one offer from the Biden administration to evacuate him from the besieged Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv. After the Biden administration offered to help evacuate him from Kyiv on Saturday, Zelensky reportedly said, “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.”

During his Tuesday interview with CNN, Zelensky further warned that if the NATO allies don’t act soon, Ukraine could fall under Russian control and Russia’s troops would then be on the borders of NATO-allied nations.

“If Ukraine fails, then all these troops will be at your borders, Poland, Lithuania … and you’ll be facing greater issues,” Zelensky said. “There’ll be other provocations there.”

Zelensky also expressed concern that negotiations for the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine were going nowhere.

“You have to speak first of all. Everybody has to stop fighting and to go [back] to that point from where it began five, six days ago,” Zelensky said. “It’s important to stop bombing people and then we can move on and sit at the negotiation table.”