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Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska addresses Congress

Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, addressed the US Congress Wednesday morning. She is in Washington this week to highlight the human cost of Ukraine's ongoing war with Russia.

She showed America’s most powerful lawmakers stark images of the toll of Russian bombardment of cities on Ukraine’s children – a blood-splattered baby stroller, a small crumpled body.

For Zelenska, the appearance capped a week in Washington that marked some of her highest-profile appearances of the five-month war. The visit was also one of the first times most Americans have laid eyes on her.

“We want no more airstrikes. No more missile strikes,” Zelenska told Republicans and Democrats Wednesday, as an overhead screen displayed the war’s youngest victims. “Is this too much to ask for?”

Zelenska, speaking to an audience that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, appeared in the same congressional auditorium where her husband drew standing ovations from lawmakers three weeks into Russia’s invasion. Her husband had spoken by video.

In her remarks, Zelenska said she was grateful to the u-s for the aid already sent to her country. She said she and other Ukrainian mothers want to give their children hope for the future, and appealed to the lawmakers for the US to send more weapons and air defense systems to Ukraine.

"While Russia kills, America saves and you should know about it, we thank you for that.” Zelenska said to lawmakers.

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Noelia Gonzalez

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