As President Zelensky addressed Congress Wednesday and asked for more aid President Biden called Vladimir Putin a "war criminal" for the assault on Ukraine. This as civilians continue to bear the brunt of the fighting, especially in Ukraine's south. Now entering its fourth week the war shows little sign of letting up despite negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. Jane Ferguson reports from Kyiv.
The Ukrainian president is no stranger to Congress, having played a central role in Donald Trump’s first impeachment. As president, Trump was accused of withholding security aid to Ukraine as he pressured Zelensky to dig up dirt on political rival Biden. Zelensky spoke Wednesday from a giant screen to many of the same Republican lawmakers who declined to impeach or convict Trump, but are among the bipartisan groundswell in Congress now clamoring for military aid to Ukraine.
He thanked the American people, saying Ukraine is grateful for the outpouring of support, even as he urged Biden to do more.
“You are the leader of the nation. I wish you be the leader of the world,” he said “Being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.”
It was the latest visit as Zelensky uses the West’s great legislative bodies in his appeals for help, invoking Shakespeare’s Hamlet last week at the British House of Commons asking whether Ukraine is “to be or not to be” and appealing Tuesday to “Dear Justin” as he addressed the Canadian Parliament and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He often pushes for more help to save his young democracy than world leaders have so far pledged to provide.
'Scum and traitors': Under pressure over Ukraine, Putin turns his ire on Russians One expert said the Russian leader was telling his country's elite: “Don’t think about having second thoughts. We’re all in this together and if I go down, you go down.”
"The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like an insect in their mouth onto the pavement," he said, shoulders hunched and staring down the barrel of the camera. 口の中に飛び込んだ虫を吐き出せ！と言っているそうです。
LONDON — Anyone looking for signs that embattled and isolated Russia might soften its position would not have found much hope in the increasingly belligerent words of President Vladimir Putin.
With his invasion of Ukraine floundering and his economy teetering, Putin doubled down Wednesday, turning his baleful glare on Russians who are against the invasion or who sympathize with the West.
"The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like an insect in their mouth onto the pavement," he said, shoulders hunched and staring down the barrel of the camera.
It was the latest speech to surprise and alarm many who study Putin. He has adopted what they say is an emotional, ranting tone since Russia invaded Ukraine three weeks ago, a departure from the calculating persona of a former KGB officer.
"He's clearly angry, emotional and feels the need to speak in this very aggressive tone," said John Lough, an associate fellow at London’s Chatham House think tank.
Lough said the speech was clearly aimed at Russia's elites, some of whom he believes are privately dismayed about the failure of the war and the economic backlash it has inflicted at home.
According to Lough, Putin was saying to the elites: "Don't think about having second thoughts. We're all in this together, and if I go down, you go down."