New York –
Days before potentially crossing paths with Russia’s top diplomat at the United Nations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested Monday that the world body should allow his country’s aggressor to sit at the tables of power. Need to answer.
“It’s very important for us that all our words, all our messages, are heard by our partners. And if the United Nations still — sadly, but still — has a place for Russian terrorists, The question? I think it’s a question for all members of the United Nations,” Zelensky said after visiting wounded Ukrainian servicemen in a New York hospital.
He had just arrived in America to make his country’s case to the world and to Washington for continued support in trying to repel Russia’s invasion, nearly 19 months into what has become a bitter war.
Ukraine’s Western allies have provided weapons and other aid, and the US Congress is currently considering President Joe Biden’s request for an additional $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid.
U.S. lawmakers are sharply divided over providing additional money to Ukraine. Zielinski will spend some time on Capitol Hill on Thursday and meet with Biden at the White House.
Earlier, Zelenskiy is scheduled to address world leaders at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and address a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine on Wednesday. Russia is a permanent, veto-wielding member of the council, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to comment.
Asked if he would stay in the room for the hearing, Zielinski said, “I don’t know what it’s going to be like.”
Zielinski has tasked the United Nations with maintaining international peace and security, as a member of the Security Council, before a war started by a neighbor. In a memorable instance, he lamented to the General Assembly in 2021 that the United Nations was “a retired superhero who has long forgotten how great he once was.”
Traveling to the U.S. for the first time since December, he began his journey with a stop at Staten Island University Hospital. Michael J. Dowling, CEO of the hospital’s parent company, Northwell Health, said the medical facility has, to date, treated 18 Ukrainian military members who lost limbs in combat.
With the help of Kind Deeds, a New Jersey-based charity, the injured have been fitted for prosthetic limbs and are undergoing outpatient physical therapy.
Zielinski greeted several wounded soldiers as they worked out in the rehabilitation gym. He inquired about his injuries, wished him a speedy recovery and thanked him for his services.
“How are you? Is it difficult?” Zielinski asked a military member, who paused and then said it was fine.
“Stay strong,” Zielinski replied, later telling the group that his country was grateful and proud of him.
Later, in a hospital conference room, they handed out medals to the wounded, posed for photos, signed a large Ukrainian flag and thanked medical staff and wounded soldiers.
He said that we all will wait for you back home. “We need every one of you.”