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Ukraine's first lady addresses Congress as fighting continues in Kherson region

Biden US Ukraine
Posted at 9:26 AM, Jul 20, 2022

Ukraine first lady Olena Zelenska, wife of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressed members of Congress Wednesday.

The address came after Zelenska met with Biden administration officials and U.S. first lady Jill Biden. Her visit comes amid fierce fighting in the Kherson region of Ukraine.

"The American people and American families, the Congress and President Biden have already done a lot to help us to stand up to the enemy and protect millions of Ukrainians. We are grateful, really grateful that the United States stands with us in this fight for our shared values of human life and independence," she told members of Congress.

Although Zelenskyy previously addressed Congress virtually, Zelenska will deliver her remarks in person.

“In the course of visits from Ukrainian leaders — from members of parliament to grassroots heroes — many of us have heard horrific stories about the brutal treatment of women and girls by Russian forces,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Indeed, we have sufficient evidence of kidnappings and deportations into Russia, rape of women in front of family members, and even rape of little girls.”

President Joe Biden and Congress have provided billions in aid to Ukraine for military and humanitarian purposes. In a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Zelenska discussed Ukraine's humanitarian challenges.

“Secretary Blinken commended First Lady Zelenska’s work to help Ukrainians impacted by the war,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price. “He reiterated that the United States will continue to provide assistance to help Ukraine respond to the significant economic and humanitarian challenges it faces, including supporting the First Lady’s mental health initiative for citizens affected by the war.

“The secretary reiterated that the United States remains dedicated to helping the people of Ukraine recover and rebuild from the devastation inflicted on them by President Putin’s unjust war.”