President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine threatened to step up attacks on Russia if Moscow repeated last winter’s strategy of bombing Ukrainian power plants that left millions of Ukrainians battling freezing temperatures without electricity, heat or water.
The warning, issued by Zelensky in an interview with the CBS news program “60 Minutes,” comes as the war heads into another winter and Ukraine has shown it can hit targets deep inside Russia.
“If they cut off our electricity, deprive us of electricity, deprive us of water, deprive us of gasoline, you should know that we also have the right to do it,” Zelensky said, according to a report. published transcript for “60 minutes”. Russian leader Vladimir V. Putin had ordered attacks on civilian targets, Zelensky added, in an attempt to “break” the spirit of Ukrainians.
Last winter, Russia attempted to weaponize the weather, a campaign that ultimately failed but at times left millions of Ukrainians without heat and dependent on old wells for water. This year, Ukraine is boldly threatening to do the same to the Russians, resorting primarily to attack drones.
In recent months, the frequency of drone fire on Russian targets has increased dramatically. They have hit a key bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula with Russia, the Russian navy recently damaged boats in the region and threatened the border Belgorod region. They have also penetrated deep within Russian borders – as far as the greater Moscow region – but have not caused significant damage there.
Ukraine does not officially recognize attacks inside Russian territory even though Zelensky and other top officials have said they intend to bring the war to ordinary Russians. In the “60 Minutes” interview, Zelensky again tried to be ambiguous about the attacks, although he said: “Ukrainian drones have jumped into Russia itself, attacking the Kremlin, fighter jets and Moscow skyscrapers.”
He continued to insist that he was not ordering the drone strikes and that Ukraine uses weapons provided by its allies only on Ukrainian territory.
“But Russia needs to know that wherever it is, whatever place it uses to launch missiles to attack Ukraine, Ukraine has every moral right to send a response to those places,” Zelensky said. “We respond by saying, ‘Your sky is not as well protected as you think.’”