Zelenskyy called – will Biden listen?

Address to the Congress from Kyivone of several Ukrainian cities leveled by Vladimir Putin’s indiscriminate shelling delivered a thunderous moral trumpet to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

He outlined the horrors that Putin inflicted on Ukraine and their wider implications. Zelenskyy stressed that this was not just a tragedy for Ukraine, it was a catastrophe for Europe, the worst since World War II.

Russia not only attacked Ukraine militarily, but “threw tanks and planes at it [its] Freedom.” The war is an offensive against “basic human values”.

Correct. The unchecked Russian aggression in Ukraine is, simply put, an attack on Western sovereignty and the fundamental principles of our civilization. For evidence, look no further than the civilians killed by Russian shelling at a bread line in Chernihiv.

lend a terrible effect to Zelensky’s words, a heartbreaking video showed the human toll of Russian attacks: the dead, the maimed, crying children, refugees boarding trains, broken families.

Zelensky’s appeal to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 reinforced his pleas for help. While expressing gratitude for the help sent so far, he reiterated calls for a no-fly zone and, failing that, defense systems and aircraft, and increasingly harsh sanctions against the attacker.

His cause, the cause of civilization, deserves this support and more.

Zelenskyy’s call for a no-fly zone makes strategic sense given his situation. But, as he pointed out, greater US involvement doesn’t mean a no-fly zone or nothing. We can provide lethal aid to Ukraine in many ways and help end the airstrike without one.

The President can begin by giving the blessing to the United States Airplane transfers from Poland – and any other willing country.

Wednesday saw some good news on that front. The US and its NATO partners are reportedly already sending Soviet-era air defense systems to Ukraine, missiles with an altitude range high enough to knock out Russian cruise missiles.

President Biden speaks shortly after Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskyy virtually addressed the US Congress.
President Biden speaks shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy virtually addressed the US Congress.

The clear next step is to send Ukraine S-300s, anti-aircraft systems capable of hitting high-flying Russian aircraft by any means necessary, as quickly as possible. Also speed up the transfer of state-of-the-art switchblade drones.

Then there are the numerous (and deniable) cyber efforts against Russian logistics and communications, which the US has the technology to unleash.

Biden must also stop saying what he says habit do and set clear red lines now as a deterrent against Putin with concrete minimum Consequences for actions such as targeted attacks on civilians, the use of thermobaric, biological or chemical weapons, or military advances that get too close to NATO countries.

Without such red lines, the Russian strongman will see a clear signal to continue his bloody aggression without fear of real retaliation. (And those lines need to be as hard as they are clear: remember the Syrian disasters that played out on the red line after Barack Obama left.)

Zelensky ended in English and addressed Biden directly. “It’s not enough,” he said, “to be the leader of a nation. Today you have to be the leader of the world.”

right again. Get in, Mr. President. Zelenskyy called – will Biden listen?


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