Report: Zelensky to Address Congress in Person Wednesday

If visit goes ahead, it will be his first trip outside Ukraine since invasion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2022 5:44 PM CST
Report: Zelensky Is Planning to Visit DC
In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signs a Ukraine national flag, in Bakhmut, Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.   (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is planning to visit Washington, DC on Wednesday on his first trip outside Ukraine since the Russian invasion, sources tell outlets including the AP and CNN. The sources say that while there's a strong chance the trip could be called off at the last minute due to security issues, the visit will include a meeting with President Biden at the White House and an address to Congress if it goes ahead. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told lawmakers they should attend Wednesday evening's session in person. "We are ending a very special session of the 117th Congress with legislation that makes progress for the American people as well as support for our Democracy," Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues, per the AP. "Please be present for a very special focus on Democracy Wednesday night."

In the weeks after the February invasion, there were fears that Russia would launch a major attack to "sow confusion" if Zelensky left the country at any point, but "no prominent military analyst has recently questioned Ukrainian command and control in the military," the New York Times reports. The planned visit comes as the Biden administration prepares a new assistance package that will include Patriot missiles. Zelensky met troops and handed out awards in a surprise visit to the frontline city of Bakhmut Tuesday, the BBC reports. He was handed a Ukrainian flag by soldiers and said, "We will pass it on from the boys to the Congress, to the president of the United States."

(More Volodymyr Zelensky stories.)

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