He addressed world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, seeking unwavering support for Ukraine’s battle against Russia. Zelensky’s journey across the Atlantic coincided with a critical phase in his quest to maintain substantial aid for Ukraine.
Some leaders in the Global South and Republicans in Congress have voiced concerns that the conflict is diverting resources from other priorities.
Over the next 3½ days, Zelensky’s goal is to secure support as parts of the world consider moving on.
Despite encountering skepticism, Zelensky received a warm welcome at the U.N. He emphasized that mass destruction was on the rise, with the aggressor deploying various tactics against Ukraine and potentially threatening all nations.
This comes as leaders from developing nations express frustration over the allocation of resources to Ukraine, which they believe should be directed toward their own challenges, like addressing climate change and poverty.
In Washington, a growing faction of the Republican Party questions further military aid to Ukraine. While most Democrats and some Republicans support Kyiv, the backlash among House Republicans could hinder efforts to approve additional aid.
Zelensky’s visit aims to leverage his persuasive abilities to sway wavering voices, as he meets with congressional leaders, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The total economic and military support for Ukraine has reached an estimated $73 billion globally.
During his speech, Zelensky warned against trusting Russia, which he accused of propagating divisions through propaganda campaigns across various regions.
He also linked global food shortages and rising energy prices to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, emphasizing the importance of addressing these issues alongside the conflict.
Zelensky, known for his oratory skills, began his visit by visiting wounded Ukrainian soldiers in New York and will conclude it with a White House visit.
He is scheduled to meet with Senate leadership and deliver a speech off-campus. His persuasion efforts, especially with McCarthy, are crucial to securing additional funding for Ukraine.
This trip marks Zelensky’s first in-person visit to the United Nations since the war began in 2022. Unlike previous successes, the current phase of the conflict has proven more challenging, with Ukrainian forces engaged in a prolonged trench warfare battle against Russian troops. Despite global condemnation, Russia continues to disregard calls for troop withdrawal.
Zelensky’s allies hope his persuasive abilities can bolster worldwide support for Ukraine, especially as Ukrainian forces continue their counteroffensive, facing heavy losses in their quest to regain territory. The situation remains fluid, with ongoing military developments and challenges on multiple fronts.