Volodymyr Zelensky’s Speech “I Call for You to Do More,” streamed live on March 16, 2022, compels the United States (US) to take immediate action to support Ukrainians in defending their country from the Russian invasion. President Zelensky uses facts and historical evidence to show the extent of damage that the Russian Federation continues to cause on Ukrainians in the ongoing war. The emotional speech to Congress justifies the need for countries, like the US, to take an intervention for a no-fly zone in the Ukrainian sky and assist in ending the war. The Ukrainian president focuses on a central message and uses a professional, caring, and authoritative tone throughout his address. This strategy allows President Zelensky to present himself as a responsible leader, determined to protect his country’s political and humanitarian interests. These traits make President Zelensky’s discourse credible, emotional, and convincing to the audience. In particular, this rhetorical analysis of Zelensky’s speech “I Call for You to Do More” is an example of an essay that covers the summary of his address using ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos.
Persuasive speeches effectively convey a specific message since they compel the audience to resonate with the speaker. Ukrainian President Zelensky addresses the US Congress and explains the situation in his country due to the ongoing war with Russia. President Zelensky provides an emotional speech that reveals how Ukrainians continue to suffer from the current conflict using credible and logical arguments. Besides, he justifies the need for the US government to intervene in the Russia-Ukraine war. Although President Zelensky addresses US Congressmen remotely in his speech “I Call for You to Do More,” he uses ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos to articulate the current situation in Ukraine and convince the audience that his country requires adequate and immediate military support.
Summary of Zelensky’s Speech
On March 16, 2022, President Zelensky addressed the US Congress to present current issues on the Russia-Ukraine war and asked for military support and intervention. President Zelensky explained how Russia continued to attack Ukraine with missiles and airstrikes daily (02:00-02:27). These statements set the stage for President Zelensky’s speech, where he explains the need for the US to close the Ukrainian airspace. Moreover, President Zelensky presents a video showing emotional scenes as missiles strike buildings and public spaces in Ukraine (13:16-15:28). The president uses the video to justify the damage and mutilation caused by the Russian forces due to the open Ukrainian airspace. Thus, the Ukrainian president articulates the issues surrounding the current Russia-Ukraine war while justifying the importance of closing airspace as a containment measure.
2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine
President Zelensky uses ethos to present a believable speech to the US Congress. For example, President Zelensky states that Russia attacks Kyiv City with missiles daily (02:00-02:27). This quantification reveals the frequency of attacks that Russia makes towards Ukraine. From a practical perspective, President Zelensky provides details on Russian activities in Ukraine that undermine overall security. Besides, the Ukrainian leader notes that the current war is the worst disaster that a European country has faced since independence (02:25-02:27). This statement justifies that Russia continues to use excessive force in attacking innocent Ukrainians, which is a violation of human rights. Thus, President Zelensky uses quantifiable and believable information in his speech “I Call for You to Do More,” making it plausible.
The United States and Ukraine
President Zelensky uses historical evidence to justify his primary arguments. For instance, President Zelensky relates the national memorial in Rushmore to the current situation in Ukraine (03:55-04:29). The president argues that Ukrainians continue to fight for their independence and democracy in the 21st century, losing their lives. This statement justifies why Ukrainians continue to defend their country fearlessly regardless of the severe military attacks by the Russian soldiers. President Zelensky reminds the US Congress about the Pearl Harbor attacks and the September 11 terror assault (04:45-05:16). The president cites these past but significant events to justify that the US experienced similar attacks, like Ukraine. The strategy makes President Zelensky’s arguments more plausible to the US Congressmen since they can relate the current war in Ukraine with past events that tested American democracy and sovereignty.
I Have a Need to Protect Our Sky
President Zelensky refers to a famous thinker and activist, Martin Luther King Jr., and his speech “I Have a Dream” to make his speech more credible. For example, President Zelensky states that every American in the US knows about King’s speech “I Have a Dream,” but he also has a dream that is protecting his sky (07:16-07:37). This evidence shows that the Ukrainian president played an important role in sourcing adequate evidence to prove the undemocratic military activities by the Russian soldiers in Ukrainian cities. Thus, the speaker’s reference to King’s words and uniting them to his situation in the country makes his appeal trustworthy.
National Dreams and Values
President Zelensky makes an emotional appeal when describing Russian activities in Ukraine. For instance, President Zelensky argues that Russia violates human values by attacking Ukraine (03:10-04:09). The speaker reveals that Ukrainians continue to lose their social and political values because of the daunting war by Russians. The description invokes a sense of sympathy as one contemplates the devastating experience in Ukraine. The statement that the current Russia-Ukraine war kills their national dreams reveals that the country is on the verge of collapsing (Zelensky 03:40-03:50). The Ukrainian president uses these words to show that Ukraine is in dire need of military support from dominant countries, like the US. From a critical point of view, the statement depicts Ukraine as a vulnerable country that requires adequate support from the international community. Therefore, President Zelensky presents an emotional speech to justify that Ukraine needs immediate help from the US.
Ukraine’s Courage and Resilience
President Zelensky uses pathos in his speech “I Call for You to Do More” to justify Ukraine’s courage and resilience. For example, President Zelensky notes that Ukrainians should fight for their rights and freedom (04:25-04:47). The speaker notes how American leaders fought for the citizens’ rights and liberties. Like Ukrainians, Americans defended their country when attacked by their enemies. Therefore, President Zelensky used American beliefs and values to explain why Ukrainians continue to demonstrate courage and resilience despite the ongoing war.
A Source of Death
President Zelensky invokes unique emotions of sympathy among the audience by presenting the situation in Ukraine due to the ongoing war. For example, President Zelensky explains how Russian troops turn the Ukrainian sky into a source of death by shooting thousands of missiles to all Ukrainian cities (05:47-06:04). The Ukrainian leader argues that Russia attacks Ukraine with high-precision weapons, like drones and technological bombs, which threaten the lives of millions of people. Therefore, President Zelensky presents emotional facts about the Russia-Ukraine war that provokes the audience’s sympathy.
1000 Missiles in the Ukrainian Sky
President Zelensky uses data to support his statements about the Russia-Ukraine war. For example, President Zelensky notes that Ukrainians resisted the Russian aggression for eight years before the active phase of the war (02:34-02:43). In this case, the speaker quantifies the period that Ukrainians resisted the Russian invasion since they valued peace and democracy. The president quantifies the Ukrainian’s effort to avoid a full-scale invasion by Russians. President Zelensky notes that Russians fired approximately 1000 missiles over Ukrainian cities (05:56-06:00). The Ukrainian leader covers this data to approximate the value of ammunition used against Ukrainians, making his arguments logical for the no-fly zone in the Ukrainian sky. Thus, President Zelensky uses data to justify his opinions on why the US government should assist and protect Ukrainians.
President Zelensky uses valid reasons to convince the US Congressmen that Ukraine needs immediate support and assistance. For example, President Zelensky requests other countries and humanitarian groups to declare the Ukrainian sky the no-fly zone to protect the innocent citizens from unnecessary aggression (06:07-06:41). The speaker notes that the failure to declare the Ukrainian sky the no-fly zone puts the lives of innocent citizens at risk. Besides, President Zelensky argues that the US should provide powerful weapons as an alternative measure for Ukraine if declaring the no-fly area becomes a significant problem (06:41-07:12). The Ukrainian leader gives the US and European countries the alternative option to allow Ukrainians to defend themselves from the Russian air attacks. These examples show how President Zelensky applies logic to convince the US Congress on why Ukraine requires intervention by the international community.
The Dream of Freedom
President Zelensky focuses on a central message of seeking military intervention from the US. The Ukrainian president states that he has a dream that reflects his citizens’ security and democracy needs (07:25-07:39). Throughout his speech “I Call for You to Do More,” the speaker provides facts to justify why he believes that Ukrainians should defend their democracy and autonomy from the Russian invasion. In turn, President Zelensky explains that Ukraine needs support from the developed countries to cater to their security needs and realize the dream of political freedom.
Being With Ukrainians
President Zelensky makes a timely speech to the US Congress. President Zelensky states that he addresses the US Congressmen from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, which is under attack by missiles and airstrikes by the Russian troops (01:54-02:06). In this case, the speaker makes a timely message by addressing the US Congress from an insecure location. President Zelensky’s actions justify Ukraine’s need for urgent support from the US. Therefore, the Ukrainian leader makes a suitable message to explain why his country requires military aid from the US.
Saving Lives of Ukrainians
President Zelensky gives a timeliness message to the global audience. For example, the Ukrainian leader explains how different governments made haste to vaccinate people against Covid-19 while preventing the emergence of new strains (President Zelensky 12:00-12:34). The president uses this message to remind countries that they continue to overlook the need to provide Ukraine with the necessary military support. This right message helps to convince the audience, while other countries, like the US, have a political and economic obligation to assist Ukraine in achieving in protecting its citizens. Therefore, President Zelensky makes an appropriate message to convince the US Congress that the international community should support Ukrainians who defend their country from the terroristic aggression of Russia.
Protecting Peace and Human Life
President Zelensky uses an appropriate tone to present his speech “I Call for You to Do More” to the US Congress. For instance, President Zelensky states that Ukrainians have a resolute determination to defend their country despite facing the greatest war after World War II (02:11-02:26). The Ukrainian president uses a professional and caring tone to put his primary message across. In this case, the president remains composed as he explains how his government remains focused on defending its citizens despite having inadequate weapons. President Zelensky argues that global leaders should strive to promote peace, protect people from all enemies, and defend human life (15:54-16:37). This statement reveals an authoritative tone as President Zelensky reminds the US Congressmen about their primary duty of defending Ukrainians. Therefore, the president relies on his unique technique to justify that the US should support and protect Ukrainians.
In his speech “I Call for You to Do More,” President Zelensky presents a compelling and emotional appeal on why the US should support Ukrainians who defend their country from the Russian invasion. By considering this rhetorical analysis, President Zelensky relies on ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos to explain why the US and other countries should declare the Ukrainian sky the no-fly zone or provide the necessary weapons for resisting the Russian troops. In this case, the Ukrainian leader makes a timely and valuable message that challenges the US government to execute its mandate of protecting innocent Ukrainians. Besides, he uses a professional, caring, and authoritative tone throughout his speech. Other unique traits described in this essay example include citations of the relevant facts regarding the Russia-Ukraine war, references to authorities, like King and his speech, and historical experiences where the US faced similar security threats.
Zelensky, Volodymyr. “‘I Call for You to Do More:’ Ukrainian President Zelensky Addresses US Congress | WSJ.” YouTube, March 16, 2022, www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-kuGHPs4TU.