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Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, Asks Congress for More Planes and a No-Fly Zone

After going more than a week under Russian attack, Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met with over 280 members of Congress via Zoom on Saturday morning, March 5th, 2022. Zelenskyy outlined the ways that the U.S. can help Ukraine fight against Russia; he requested additional airplanes, stoppage of oil purchases from Russia and a no-fly zone over Ukrainian airspace.

While both Democrats and Republicans pledged to do whatever they can to provide assistance to the Ukrainian people, the Biden administration argued against establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, suggesting it might escalate the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

“Honored to hear from @ZelenskyyUa as he takes every measure to defend Ukraine from illegal Russian aggression & Putin’s indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Zelenskyy’s resilience & commitment to the people of Ukraine inspire the world. Proud to stand with you Mr. President,” the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tweets. Many, in support of Ukraine during this time, see the value of providing support to Zelenskyy, like Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who is on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He confirms Zelensky’s request in a statement, and debates the possibilities:

“Ukraine needs airpower urgently and America should send it. Zelensky’s message is simple: ‘close the skies or give us planes.’ Let’s be clear-eyed about our options: A No-Fly Zone means sending American pilots into combat against Russian jets and air defenses — in a battle between nuclear powers that could spiral out of control quickly,” Senator Sasse said.

“But Americans should absolutely send Ukrainians planes, helicopters, and UAVs. Let’s resupply Ukraine’s Air Force today and keep the Ghosts of Kyiv in the skies.”

Since Russia supplies 10% of the crude oil global supply, the third-largest producer after the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, Zelenskyy asks the U.S. to stop oil and gas imports in order to cripple Russia’s economy.

Many senators announce their support of Ukraine during this time through countless tweets. Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska tweets: “President @ZelenskyyUa said stopping the purchase of Russian oil and gas around the world would be one of the most powerful sanctions possible, ‘even more powerful than SWIFT.’@POTUS, enough is enough. Listen to this brave President and a growing bipartisan group of senators. Block imports of Russian oil and gas TODAY, and produce more oil and gas from America. #StandWithUkraine #BanRussianImports.”

Another tweet by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tweets about Zelenskyy’s detailed account of numerous war crimes being committed on Ukrainian soil. She says in a video message on Twitter, “There were numerous examples of war crimes provided by President Zelensky – mayors have been captured, imprisoned and murdered. There’s wholesale attacks on civilian targets, random, indiscriminate, and the Putin war machine, in my view, is in full blown war crimes mode.”

Only time will tell how America’s involvement could affect the war in Ukraine.

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