On Thursday, the first photos of snow in war-torn Ukraine emerged.
Pictures show the first snowflakes of the year settling on statues and roadblocks in the capital, Kyiv, in central Ukraine. It is also a city characterized by Power outages after Russian missile attacks.
Autumn in the country made the fields wet, making it difficult to navigate off the roads.
But with winter and colder temperatures as new factors, it could once again affect activity on the battlefield.
– very soft
Winter-related challenges are running along the entire front line. This is explained by Geir Hagen Carlsen, lieutenant colonel and director of the Norwegian Defense Academy.
– Also, it becomes very difficult to keep track of the activity when it’s dark for large parts of the day. He says the war is going slower.
Winters in Ukraine are much milder than in Norway, but there are still harsh winter conditions.
– Now she is so soft. The black soil belt, which covers large parts of Ukraine, gets wet in the fall, and then it becomes difficult to pass through the terrain by vehicles. When it freezes, it will be easier in terms of moving equipment, says Hagen Carlsen.
Especially cold in this part of the front line
The length of winter varies in different parts of Ukraine. Palle Ydstebø explains that in some areas there can be snow and frost on the ground until February and March.
He is the lieutenant colonel and director of the department and land force at the Military School. Ydstebø says the winter weather will vary along the front line.
The coldest month tends to be January. And there is one area in particular on the front line where it can get particularly cold.
– There is usually frost and snow between December and February. In the Donbass region in the east, temperatures can be several tens of degrees below zero, but the average temperature in January and February is five to six. Here, the region is not affected by the warm air coming from the Black Sea. Further south in the country and along the coast, Ydstebø says winters are milder.
Suitable for one type of vehicle
Usually the phone comes into the ground in December.
The phone isn’t fully settled yet, but when it does, we can expect more Ukrainian activity. Armored vehicles will be particularly easy to move around.
If the snow settles, this is also useful for maneuvering special tracked vehicles.
– Snowfall from December to February is usually between 40 and 80 mm, says the presenter.
– But if there is a lot to plow, it will be hard again. It all depends on the extent and type of weather. He adds that if it is cold and wet, it is of course more difficult than if it is a cold and dry winter.
difficult for the civilian population
This fall saw Russia step up its bombing of critical infrastructure, leading to widespread power outages.
– What will the winter be like for the civilian population, and should we expect more such attacks?
– I think we can expect more Russian missile and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure and cities, at least as long as the Russians have more missiles, or they will get them from other countries, like Iran. But I don’t think it will affect the population’s desire to resist, quite the opposite, says Yedstepo.
However, water collections and access to water will be needed to keep civil society going, says the presenter.
The parts of the civilian population that have access to electricity and destroyed water will have a hard time.
Reports of bad equipment
Since Russia’s mobilization of new soldiers, soldiers have been known on several occasions to complain about poor equipment.
Channels have appeared on Telegram where family members of the mobilized men share advice on where to buy combat jackets and clothing before leaving to fight in Ukraine, write Watchman.
Ydstebø says Ukrainian forces have sent in winter equipment from Western countries, while newly mobilized Russian forces in particular are at a significant disadvantage.
He refers to complaints from Russian soldiers about poor winter equipment.
– If Ukraine can maintain enough equipment and food, plus it can maintain the equipment operationally, it can benefit greatly from it, especially if that is something Russia will struggle with.
Hagen Carlsen says both Ukraine and Russia are used to harsh winter conditions.
Russia’s biggest drawback
It is believed that the snowfall now in Ukraine is a greater merit for Zelensky’s men than for the Russian troops.
– We know that the Russian troops are poorly prepared for the winter, especially the recently dispatched ones. The frost plays the biggest advantage for Ukraine, which also has much higher morale. Bad morale and equipment, combined with the cold winter, make it difficult for Russia, says Hagen Carlsen.
He thinks it is important to remember that most soldiers are not used to a life of luxury.
People come from bad circumstances in the first place. Many Russian soldiers come from the most remote regions of the country. You have to be a little careful looking at this with Norwegian eyes, says Hagen Carlsen.
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