Zelenskyy thanks Biden and Congress for war aid in Johns Hopkins commencement speech

The Ukrainian leader also explained how he recently visited the front lines in his country, a trip during which he spoke with soldiers who have educational backgrounds similar to those who graduated from Johns Hopkins, while others can only dream of such an educational opportunity.

Unlike American students, young Ukrainians don’t have as much control over their time due to Russia’s continued attacks, he said.

“Will our air defense systems be able to save all lives in danger? Which moment of the battle can be the most risky and which could be decisive? And how long will this war last? Zelensky said. “We try to capture the moment of our life, what happens to us.”

The United States has been a key ally of Ukraine throughout the war, sending tens of billions of dollars in military aid to the country at the same rate as its European allies. Among the most important equipment destined for Kyiv are Patriot air defense systems and Abrams tanks, and Biden recently announced a joint international effort to begin training Ukrainians on F-16 fighter jets.

Anne Applebaum, senior fellow at the SNF Agora Institute and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, in addition to being a staff writer at The Atlantic who has written extensively on the war in Ukraine and interviewed Zelenskyy, introduced the Ukrainian leader.

Following the speech, Zelenskyy received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the university.

It is Zelenskyy’s first commencement speech since May 2022, three months after Russia invaded his country. In a video address to Stanford graduates, he explained how the West can support Ukraine and urged students to pursue their passions as many drafted into the war will not have the chance to go to the university.


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