Zelenskiy courts US Congress, Biden on military aid

STORY: The presidents of Ukraine and the United States met at the White House on Thursday.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy's main mission during a cross-city blitz in Washington:

Convince U.S. lawmakers - including skeptical ones - to keep up support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

JOE BIDEN: "No nation can be truly secure in the world if in fact we don't stand up and defend the freedom of Ukraine."

At the Senate, Zelenskiy kept his comments diplomatic:

"I think we had very strong, very strong dialogue with Senators."

But this visit - which included a stop at the Pentagon...

JOURNALIST: "What do you need from the Pentagon?"

...is tougher for Zelenskiy than a previous one nine months ago.

(Date: December 21, 2022)

ZELENSKIY: "Ukraine is alive and kicking."

While Biden and most Congressional leaders still support helping Ukraine, Republicans now control the House...

And some in their party aren't so sure about giving a Congressional stamp of approval on more aid.

They're questioning the billions of dollars Washington has sent Kyiv... some $113 billion in security and humanitarian aid so far.

The debate is playing out all as a possible government shutdown over spending looms overhead.

Still, national security adviser Jake Sullivan says the White House will forge ahead with a new military aid package featuring help with air defense.

"These capabilities will help Ukraine harden its defenses ahead of what is likely to be a hard winter."