The temperatures are frigid this time of year in Kyiv, Ukraine. But nearly half of the region’s civilians are without heat or electricity as Russian air strikes cripple the nation’s energy infrastructure.
“You don’t have water, you don’t have heating. 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 Ukraine war enters a winter offensive — with Russians knocking down more power plants than military bases in a shift that makes Ukraine’s civilians the target.
Goncharenko lives in Odesa, which is bearing the brunt of Russia’s strikes and is relying on backup energy supply to keep the city running.
“My wife, my two kids are without electricity, without water, without everything. The repair process is in progress. So we hope that the situation will improve,” said Goncharenko “But we know that Russia again can attack. And unfortunately, I think it would happen.”
Ukrainians are retaliating by bringing the fight to Putin. On Monday, Ukraine reportedly hit two Russian military bases 300 miles past the border, in the heart of 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. The attacks are organized from Russian territory,” said Goncharenko. “It is clear that we have all the right.”
But this strategy has its cracks — western allies have been wary to provide Ukraine with weapons that can reach Moscow.
The Wall Street Journal exclusively reported Monday that the U.S. modified the advanced Himars rocket launchers so they do not have the long-range ability to fire into Russia. The U.S. provided Ukraine with at least 20 Himars rocket launchers in June.
“We are not enabling Ukraine to strike behind beyond its borders,” said State Department Spokesperson Ned Price 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 is preserved. It’s not encouraging Ukraine to strike beyond its borders.”
“With more weaponry, we can finish this war very quickly, and that will not be escalatory, because if [so] this bloodshed will continue for years,” said Goncharenko. “Don’t forget that for Russians, it’s not a war against Ukraine. It’s the war against the West lifted by the United States. And Putin … says it absolutely openly.”
As Ukraine is developing its own weapons arsenal, Russia is sneaking by Western sanctions to build their own weapons in recent months. A report from Conflict Armament Research (CAR) investigators stated remnants of the missiles shot into Kyiv on Nov. 23 were produced between July-September 2022 and October-November 2022.
“That’s why sanctions are so important, because we see the Russians are already using newly downed missiles. So it means that from one point of view, their stocks are really already empty. So they’re using missiles which are just produced,” said Goncharenko. “We need to continue this job to finally close all the holes which Russia tries to use to avoid sanctions.”
As Ukraine is showing more willingness to hit inside Russia’s border, the Ukrainian government has a laundry list of air defense missiles, from National Advanced Surface-to-Air missile system (NASAMS) to ammunition and drones.
“If we would have in March weaponry that we received in May, we would finish everything in April for the benefit of the whole world and certainly of Ukraine,” said Goncharenko. “Our country would not be so heavily devastated. Thousands of people would be alive. So it’s not a question of economy. It’s not a question of money. It’s the question that we need to win this war as soon as possible.”
Lacey Christ is a Producer with Fox News @ Night. You can follow her on Twitter: @lacey_christ1