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Carson: 'Courageous' Zelenskyy's speech to Congress underscores important role of US in supporting Ukraine

Rep. Carson met with Ukraine's ambassador to the United States on Tuesday.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's delegation in Washington and the rest of Congress heard President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's pleas for assistance in a virtual address Wednesday morning.

Among those watching and listening to the impassioned speech was Indiana Congressman Andre Carson (D).

"I commend him for his very courageous leadership at this time of a crisis, not only for Ukraine, but for the entire world," said Carson. "His speech really underscored the important role the United States has to play in supporting Ukraine."

During the address, Zelenskyy stopped to play a video showing images of a very different Ukraine four weeks ago, followed by images from today: Images of children killed during the Russian invasion along with images of Ukrainian cities and buildings bombed by Russian forces.

The video ended with Zelenskyy asking the United States to help close the air space in the skies over Ukraine - something NATO and the United States has said they won't do.

"I still think it would risk a direct conflict between Russia and our country, which could trigger World War III," Carson said. "I don't want American troops being brought into this war."

Instead, the United States and NATO have imposed economic sanctions on Russia and banned Russian oil imports to the U.S. 

RELATED: Indiana-based Cummins explains why it’s continuing business in Russia during Ukraine war

Zelenskyy asked lawmakers with companies in their states that do business with Russia to ask them to stop.

13News reported that global engine manufacturer Cummins, one of Indiana's largest businesses, makes engines in Russia and continues to do so, despite the Ukraine war.

Carson said he spoke with Cummins a few weeks ago but has not asked them to stop their Russia operations.

"We're not there yet," he said.

Carson met with Ukraine's ambassador to the United States on Tuesday.

"She acknowledged that we are an important and critical ally, but at the same time, she highlighted the fact that they need military aid and military support."

Hours after Zelenskyy's address to Congress, President Biden announced $800 million in additional aid to Ukraine, assistance that includes drones, anti-aircraft systems, small arms ammunition and other weaponry.

RELATED: Zelenskyy pleads for help from Congress, Biden calls Putin 'war criminal'

It's help that stops short of Zelenskyy's top request for a no-fly zone or fighter jets to protect Ukrainian air space and against more deadly attacks from Russia.

We also reached out to Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz (R) - who is from Ukraine - to get her thoughts on Wednesday's plea from the country's president. We're still waiting to hear back.

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