Russo-Ukrainian War Updates for December 21, 2022

president of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky landed in the US on Wednesday morning, his first known trip outside his home country since Russia invaded the now war-torn nation in February.

president of the usa Joe Biden and Zelensky met at the White House for a bilateral meeting between senior officials from the two nations, followed by a joint press conference in which Biden pledged to help the young leader “as much as necessary.” The Ukrainian leader gave a stirring and historic 32-minute address to US lawmakers at the Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday night.

“Against all odds and doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine did not fall. Ukraine is alive and kicking,” Zelensky said to thunderous applause and several standing ovations.

“The fight is not just for the lives, freedom and security of Ukrainians or any other nation that Russia is trying to conquer,” he said, “the fight will determine what kind of world our children and grandchildren will live in.”

Zelensky assured the Americans that their money was not being wasted in Ukraine, saying that its soldiers know perfectly well how to operate sophisticated American weapons systems and aircraft.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky speaks after giving a Ukrainian national flag to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and US Vice President Kamala Harris (L) during her address to the US Congress at the US Capitol in Washington on December 21, 2022.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced a $1.85 billion military package for Ukraine that includes the Patriot missile system, which Russia has warned the US not to send to Ukraine.

The president’s visit to the US comes just hours after he made a surprise trip to the frontline town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. There he met with soldiers defending the city from Russian forces who have been trying to take it for months.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky visits Ukrainian military personnel at their position in the frontline town of Bakhmut, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, December 20, 2022.

Press Office of the Ukrainian President | Via Reuters

Zelensky praised the bravery and fortitude of the troops and civilians in the city of Donetsk, saying: “Fortress Bakhmut. Our people. Defeated by the enemy. Who with their bravery prove that we will endure and not give up what is ours. Ukraine is proud of you. I’m proud of you! Thank you for your courage, resilience and strength in repelling enemy attacks.”

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