He Came, He Saw, He Conquered: Inside Zelenskyy's Six Hours in Washington

ITV News US correspondent Robert Moore reports on the historic meeting at the White House

President Zelenskyy came to the White House, saw the mood of Congress, and he conquered America.

In just six remarkable hours in Washington, the Ukrainian leader confirmed his role as a wartime leader who can count on broad and deep American support.

Zelenskyy framed the war not as a distant conflict but as a struggle that matters to the whole Western world - a fight for liberty, no less.

Dressed in his trademark plain khaki clothes, he promised something even more mesmerising and dazzling to an American public weary of foreign entanglements: Victory.

Speaking to a joint session of Congress, Zelenskyy maintained that with steadfast US support and a rapid flow of weaponry, Ukraine could achieve a decisive battlefield success in 2023. He even ended his historic address by wishing Americans "a happy, victorious New Year."

Zelenskyy speaks during a news conference with President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House. Credit: AP

He was thankful, he said, for the tens of billions of dollars that America has provided. But Ukraine needs more - more of everything.  He asked for more guns, more shells, even for fighter jets.

For all the soaring rhetoric and talk of freedom, the contract Zelenskyy offered Washington was strictly transactional: We will do the fighting and the dying, but you must provide us with accelerating quantities of high-tech weapons.

Zelenskyy compared the war in Ukraine to America's experience fighting Nazi shock troops at the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944.  He even drew parallels with the 1777 Battle of Saratoga against the British in the Revolutionary War.

It was a masterful performance.

He touched on Americans' sense of identity as the only nation in the world that can mobilise its resources to save the world from the dark forces of tyranny.  The result was rapturous applause last night.

As a final gesture, he presented to Congress a Ukrainian battle flag, given to him earlier this week by troops on the frontline.

It summed up a day of great symbolism and drama.

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