Ukraine-native pleads for US, West to go after Putin’s oil, lumber to stop ‘insanity'

Rep. Spartz warns a 'huge humanitarian crisis' will evolve in Ukraine if the international community does not 'step up'

Ukraine-born Indiana Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz, who still has family in the country, warned on Thursday that a "huge humanitarian crisis" will evolve if the international community does not "step up" amid the "destruction of the people."

Spartz, who left Ukraine at the age of 21, talked of friends and family still in Ukraine, including her 95-year-old grandma, who she said are experiencing the attack on civilians in Ukraine. She also noted that it is currently hard to communicate with her friends and family in Ukraine and she is hoping they are safe. 

"All of the cities that are under siege get bombarded day and night," she told on "Mornings with Maria" on Thursday as Russia's military claimed to have seized Kherson.  U.S. officials tell Fox News that the Black Sea port city of Odesa – Ukraine's third-largest – could come under attack by President Vladimir Putin's army as early as Thursday.

Spartz argued that is important for the international community to provide humanitarian corridors as safety passages to help civilians because a lot of the people who try to evacuate Ukraine are now being "targeted to be killed." 

She also argued that going after Russia’s energy and lumber sectors as well as the assets of the oligarchs who were excluded from prior sanctions could stop the "insanity" and the "genocide of the Ukrainian people."

Spartz made the argument as oil prices continued to climb on Thursday morning as shipping and supply concerns continue due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 81.55 +0.03 +0.04%

U.S. crude gained hit $113.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange early Thursday and later dropped to $109.66. Brent, the price basis for international oils, moved to $115.08 per barrel in London and later fell to around $113.


Russia's full-blown attack on Ukraine, which started last Thursday, could push energy prices even higher with many NATO countries such as Germany dependent on Russian oil to fuel their countries.

That dependence has limited the international response to Russia's invasion, with sanctions being specifically designed not to target Russian fuel exports amid fears such a move could send energy prices soaring in Europe.

The Indiana GOP representative delivered a passionate appeal to President Biden during a House Republican news conference on Tuesday, stressing that the world needs Biden to stop the "genocide" of the Ukrainian people and if he doesn't step up, the "blood of many millions of Ukrainians will be on his hands, too."

"This is a genocide of the Ukrainian people by a crazy man who cannot get over that Ukrainian people do not want socialism, the Soviet Union [or] communism. They want to be with the United States of America. They want to be free people," a tearful Spartz said at the news conference.

Ukrainians want to fight back, but they need guns, not sticks, she said in urging Biden to provide more aid. She said Biden's sanctions against Russia are too little and too late. Without greater action, Putin won't stop his invasion in Ukraine, and the United States will ultimately have to join in the fight with military troops, she said.

She said Putin struck Ukraine when the United States is weak and urged Biden to step up and show strength. 

"He knew that we got embarrassed in Afghanistan. He wants to embarrass us again," Spartz said of Biden during the news conference, referring to the botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region. 

The final month of America's longest war was mired in controversy, eventually leading to a frantic evacuation effort from Kabul as the Taliban took over much of Afghanistan and closed in on its capital.


That chaos led to 13 American service members losing their lives during the evacuation effort after a bomb exploded near an airport checkpoint they were manning in Kabul.

A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment. 

"I think our president needs to grow a backbone during this time," Spartz told host Maria Bartiromo on Thursday, stressing that she hasn’t seen the president act as strong as he should during the "tough times." 

"I hope that is going to change because effect a lot of people and a lot of people are going to die if we don’t take some decisive steps and really push President Putin to stop this insanity and, really, [the] genocide of the Ukrainian people," she said.


Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Michael Lee contributed to this report.