Update(10:14ET): Zelensky was greeted in his virtual address with standing ovations by a full body of lawmakers from the House and Senate before before and after the speech. It was broadcast live on all major US networks, and as fully expected he made an emotional appeal for a US-backed No Fly Zone over Ukraine to stop Russia. "I am addressing President Biden, you are the leader of the nation, your nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace," Zelensky said.
The speech was laced with American patriotic references - clearly also an appeal to the broader US public - to Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Martin Luther King Jr, and an urge for Americans to "remember" the heroism and leadership etched on Mt. Rushmore. The speech further had a consistent theme that Russia had not just attacked Ukraine's people and values - but that it was attack on "basic human values" and thus the West itself. He specified that 1,000 Russian missiles and drone strikes had rained down on the country since the invasion began on Feb.24.
"Right now the destiny of our country is being decided," @ZelenskyyUa tells US Congress. pic.twitter.com/LgevGuBsLW— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) March 16, 2022
Early in the speech he called the war "a terror Europe has not seen in 80 years" while quickly invoking that the West should "close the sky" - a familiar refrain. But he also acknowledged "Is this a lot to ask for?...a humanitarian no fly zone?" And seeming to implicitly reply "yes" to his own...