Air sirens blared in the capital of Kyiv and across the country in this most recent wave of missile strikes since Russia invaded in late February. Since mid-October, the missile strikes become increasingly targeted at Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in what officials have described as an attempt to weaponize the winter weather against millions of civilians.
“We see that strategic bombers have taken off, and the first wave of missiles was already launched,” said Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force.
Many Kyiv residents sheltered in the city’s subway system while it was 17 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday morning in the capital, according to NPR.
“The enemy is again attacking the territory of Ukraine with missiles,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a top official for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said on Telegram, adding that two people were killed, two more injured, and “several” private homes destroyed in strikes that hit the southern region of Zaporizhzhia.
Russia’s recent large missile barrages often result in damages to Ukraine’s energy grid as intended, which leaves millions of residents without electricity, heat, and running water at times until operators are able to restore power. The unnecessary hardship Russian forces are creating for Ukrainian civilians could be an attempt to wear them down, but Ukrainian officials have reiterated that they will persevere through the war and come out ahead, with the help of some allies.
“Dear policy-makers, experts, media, and academia abroad,” Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, said on social media on Monday. “I know that some of you struggle to imagine a Ukrainian victory, but we are on the way to it. It is better to prepare for a Russian defeat already now, instead of trying to explain why Ukraine can not or should not win.”
The United States will provide more than $53 million to Ukraine to support its efforts in repairing the destroyed critical infrastructure that Russia has spent weeks targeting, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced last week.