Temperatures are freezing this time of year in Kiev, Ukraine. But nearly half of the region’s civilians are without heat or electricity as Russian airstrikes cripple the nation’s energy infrastructure.
“You don’t have water, you don’t have heat. It’s impossible to live like this. And that’s what Putin tries to do to Ukrainians,” Ukrainian parliament member Oleksiy Goncharenko told Fox News Digital.
As the ground hardens and the snow begins to fall, the war in Ukraine enters a winter offensive – with the Russians taking down more power plants than military bases in a shift that makes Ukrainian civilians the target.
Goncharenko lives in Odessa, which is bearing the brunt of the Russian strikes and relies on its backup energy supply to keep the city going.
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“My wife, my two children are without electricity, without water, without everything. The repair process is underway. So let’s hope the situation improves,” Goncharenko said. “But we know that Russia can still attack. And unfortunately, I think it would have happened.”
Ukrainians are reacting by taking the fight to Putin. On Monday, Ukraine reportedly struck two Russian military bases 300 miles across the border deep in enemy territory. On Tuesday, Ukraine used drones to strike an oil facility 80 miles from Ukraine.
“Thousands of Ukrainians are killed. Our country is devastated. Attacks are organized from Russian territory,” Goncharenko said. “It is clear that we have all rights.”
But this strategy has its flaws: Western allies have been cautious about supplying Ukraine with weapons that can reach Moscow.
The Wall Street Journal reported exclusively on Monday that the United States has modified Himar advanced rocket launchers so they don’t have the long-range capability to fire at Russia. The United States supplied Ukraine with at least 20 Himar rocket launchers in June.
“We are not allowing Ukraine to strike beyond its borders,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday. “Everything we are doing, everything the world is doing to support Ukraine is in support of Ukraine’s independence. Its sovereignty, its territorial integrity are preserved. He is not encouraging Ukraine to strike beyond its borders”.
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“With more weapons, we can finish this war very quickly, and it won’t be an escalation, because if [so] this bloodshed will continue for years,” Goncharenko said. “Don’t forget that for the Russians it is not a war against Ukraine. It is the war against the West raised by the United States. And Putin… he says it absolutely openly.”
While Ukraine is developing its own arsenal of weapons, Russia has evaded Western sanctions in recent months to build its own weapons. A report by Conflict Armament Research (CAR) investigators says that the remnants of missiles fired at Kiev on November 23 were produced between July-September 2022 and October-November 2022.
“That’s why the sanctions are so important, because we see that the Russians are already using newly shot down missiles. So it means that, from a certain point of view, their stocks are already depleted. So they’re using newly produced missiles,” he said. Goncharenko. “We must continue this work to finally close all the holes that Russia tries to use to avoid sanctions.”
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While Ukraine shows greater willingness to strike inside the Russian border, the Ukrainian government has a long list of air defense missiles, from the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) to munitions and drones.
“If we had the weapons we received in May in March, we would end it all in April for the benefit of the whole world and definitely Ukraine,” Goncharenko said. “Our country would not be so heavily devastated. Thousands of people would be alive. So it’s not a question of the economy. It’s not a question of the money. It’s the question we need to win this war as soon as possible.”
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Lacey Christ is a producer on Fox News @ Night. You can follow her on Twitter: @lacey_christ1