Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the US Congress remotely early on Wed., March 16.
NBC said "U.S. lawmakers said they were deeply affected by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's plea for help on Wednesday as they agonized about how to do more for his country without triggering a full-scale war between the U.S. and Russia", noting that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, said "It's hard not to be moved his words. It's kind of sad because he made a request that I don't think we can honor, which is the no-fly zone...We shouldn't call it a no-fly zone. We should just call it World War III."
A generation younger than Putin, Zelenskyy is much more savvy in communicating his message in a digital world. This is not to say that Putin may not have a message worth considering. But, if so, he is singularly ineffective in getting his message across in modern ways.
Putin is fighting the old style war with out-of-date tools; tanks, aircraft, ammunition and soldiers, all of which he has in much greater supply than Ukraine. And he is fighting a war of blame: as steps are taken backwards in the saga of Ukraine-Russian history, guilt can be found on both sides. But digging deeper and deeper for historical blame just results in an endless cha-cha back into destruction.
The aged tools of war have lost much of their effectiveness in the age of internet technology. The stories of Putin's tanks which have been abandoned on the sides of roads are deeply symbolic of these changes.
The digital age offers new ways of addressing conflict, with less death and destruction and more communication and nonviolent interaction. Zelenskyy clearly understands that his generation has created a new environment within which to respond to attacks.
During his address to Congress, Zelenskyy offered a powerful and poignant video showing what the Ukrainian people are experiencing.
NBC noted "Many lawmakers were moved to tears by Zelenskyy's gut-wrenching video of civilians, including small children, being killed by Russian forces."
A solemn Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., spoke to reporters about his grandchildren as he emerged from the gathering. New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 GOP leader who gave birth last year, talked to reporters about being a new mother. And Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, was crying as she left the room.
Zelenskyy has even managed to bring together the two sides of a warring American Congress.
You can see Zelenskyy's full address to Congress on Wed. March 16 below. His introduction to the short but poignant video he offered begins at 12:20, "I ask you to watch one video..."
(Trigger warning: violence and death.)