Yesterday the First Lady of Ukraine came a-calling on our Congress….and it was theater at its best……
Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, who has called herself “a non-public person,” stood in the US Capitol on Wednesday and starkly made the case for more US air defense systems to block Russian missiles. She showed America’s most powerful lawmakers images of the toll of Russian bombardment of cities on Ukraine’s children—a blood-splattered baby stroller, a small crumpled body. For Zelenska, spouse of President Volodymyr Zelensky, the appearance capped a week in Washington that marked some of her highest-profile appearances of the war, the AP reports. “We want no more airstrikes. No more missile strikes,” Zelenska told Republicans and Democrats on Wednesday, as an overhead screen displayed the wreckage of Russian bombardment of Ukrainian cities. “Is this too much to ask for?”
Speaking to an audience that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Zelenska appeared in the same congressional auditorium where her husband, speaking by video, drew standing ovations from lawmakers three weeks into Russia’s invasion. Until Wednesday, Zelenska’s conversations with US officials this week reportedly focused on the need for mental health care for Ukrainians dealing with the trauma of the war, and a US offer of rehabilitation assistance for children who have lost limbs in the attacks—humanitarian causes, not strategic or tactical. Wednesday’s appearance was different.
She showed photographs of a smiling, paint-smeared 4-year-old girl, Liza Dmytrieva, whom the first lady had happened to meet before Christmas. The screen next showed an overturned baby carriage with blood caking on the sidewalk beneath it, after an airstrike killed the girl. Another photo showed a girl in a pink headband, shot by Russian soldiers with her family as they tried to flee, and who screamed and cried for two hours in their car before dying, Zelenska said. Another showed a 3-year-old boy learning how to use a prosthetic limb after an airstrike. Zelenska noted the humanitarian needs. “Maybe you expected from me to speak on those topics,” she told lawmakers, through an interpreter. “But how can I talk on all that when an unprovoked war is being waged on our country?” Lawmakers gave her standing ovations before her speech, but the photos had some shaking their heads. “We’ve seen from Ukrainian leadership their courage but also their no-nonsense direct appeal and laying out the brutal mentality of Mr. Putin,” Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin said afterward.
Like I said theater…..looks like all that cash spent on PR by Ukraine is paying off.
I am old so I can remember similar theater for Kuwait and the Balkans in the 1990s….I would rather see the humanitarian aid doing some good or the bank accounts of the so-called ‘leaders’….it was masterful theater thrown at the Congress to justify the US throwing away money.
Now ask….what does the US hope to accomplish in Ukraine (other than the most obvious)….
By all accounts the best that Ukraine can hope for is a draw…..if true then what are our intentions?
To protect democracy? That ship sailed in the first month of the conflict.
Where is the national interest for the US (beyond the obvious)….
We need to ask questions and get direct answers before we keep flushing taxpayer cash down the Ukrainian toilet.
Turn The Page!
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”
2 thoughts on ““Mrs Z” Comes To Washington”
That visit wasn’t reported here, and as far as I know, she has not been to the UK. Last I heard, she was in a ‘safe place’ in Western Ukraine looking after her children.
Best wishes, Pete.
She is now the face of the conflict at least here….for awhile chuq