The symbolism was unmistakable — the American vice president and House speaker holding up before both chambers of Congress the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag.
Just one day before, it had been signed by Ukrainian soldiers on the frontlines and given to their president, for him to deliver in person to a rousing ovation.
The gesture capped a hurried, historic visit to Washington by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — his first out of Ukraine since Russia’s invasion 300 days prior — itself a potent symbol that despite relentless Russian attacks, his country has held on, in no small part thanks to unprecedented U.S. and Western support.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy leaves after a news conference with President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Dec. 21, 2022.
That support brought Zelenskyy to a Washington on the verge of change — with Republicans set to take control of the House in a matter of weeks, and some vocal members of the incoming majority opposing more massive U.S. aid.
During his two-plus hours of meetings with President Joe Biden at the White House and his visit to Capitol Hill, Zelenskyy’s mission was three-fold — to express his country’s gratitude, to reassure aid was not only worth it, but well-spent, and to ask for more.
“Your money is not charity. It’s an investment in the global security and democracy we handle in the most