PUBLISHED on 2/10/2023 – Ukraine War Update: The weather in Ukraine determines to a large degree, the operational planning of the two militaries.
On day 352 of the conflict, the fighting continues, with the heaviest combat taking place around Bakhmut and Vuhledar in the Donbas.
The Russian forces are taking heavy casualties but have very little to show for it.
Their progress is measured in a few hundred yards.
On the other side, the Ukrainians are under serious pressure, but their defenses are holding for the time being.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 135,740 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number).
Equipment destroyed includes: 295 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 286 attack and transport helicopters, 3,258 tanks, 2,251 artillery pieces, 6,471 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 463 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,126 vehicles and fuel tanks, 233 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,970 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 211 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 796 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
General Weather and the War in Ukraine
Unsurprisingly, the weather plays a significant role in the operations of the two militaries.
The ground has been frozen for the past few weeks, which would facilitate offensive operations because tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles can operate cross country and not just on roads.
However, as the temperature slowly increases, the slow will start melting, throwing everything into a whirlpool of mud.
The famous Rasputitsa that bogged down the Germans and Soviets during World War Two has the same impact on 21st-century militaries despite their vastly more modern weapon systems.
The weather continues to play a significant role in the course of Russia’s war in Ukraine. With the ground frozen, there has likely been little change in cross-country mobility (CCM) conditions in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks.
The Donbas is particularly vulnerable to the weather effect, and offensive operations in the area will be restricted.
“[Cross Country Mobility] is likely to be at its worst, with extremely muddy conditions, over mid- to late-March. Commanders on both sides will highly likely seek to avoid scheduling major offensives at such times,” the British Military Intelligence assessed earlier this week in one of its operational updates on the war.
However, offensive operations could still take place if “perceived political or operational opportunities. . .overrule such concerns.”
The Russian military, after all, launched the invasion on February 24, just a few weeks before Rasputitsa took place.
To be sure, Russian President Vladimir Putin believed that his “special military operation” would last from three days to a couple of weeks at the most, but that is another instance of poor planning on the Russian end.
The Ukrainians will most likely allow the Russians to launch their offensive first before unleashing their own counteroffensive sometime in late spring or early summer.
By that time, the Ukrainians would have incorporated their new weapon systems too.
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A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.
February 10, 2023 at 7:25 pm
The Russian people have a problem, its Putin. His arrogance is resulting to many deaths on both sides.
A brave general would take shorty out.
February 11, 2023 at 10:22 am
Don’t leave out the massive numbers of Ukrainian troops being chewed up in this senseless Russian Proxy war too.
February 11, 2023 at 11:32 am
It astounds me how people can fabricate and construct out of thin air a version of events that makes them feel good about themselves,
regardless of reality, just blurting out pure hopeful thinking delusions for a dopamine hit and a few likes…Independent observers (not Putin apologists) based on available & confirmed information specify Ukrainian loses in 250,0000 with over 60,000 wounded. The same group identified Russian loses of less than 20,000 with 8,000 wounded. That’s 12 to 1 ratio of Ukranian to Russian loses… Those are fact and not alternative reality author is pushing.
February 11, 2023 at 12:44 pm
Truth is more likely how Ukraine reports Russian losses. The reasons are both visible and subtle.
First, Ukraine seems to be meticulously counting kills, and posting them in open source. Russia isn’t touting it’s successful kills and showing pictures and identifying locations except rarely. This indicates Russia is getting slammed with personnel and equipment losses.
Second, the world can see through open source satellite imagery the Ukrainian and Russian positions, and can count losses – and have more or less agreed with the Ukrainian count, maybe about 10% lower. Soa again, Russian losses be huge.
Third, the military truth: you must attack with four tow ten times more force against an opponent. Opponents on the defense (Ukraine) have an increasingly higher force multiplier so attackers must have an increased multiplier. Russia never had, and still does not have, enough force to conquer the Ukraine. Right now a Russian victory looks to be needing about 50,000 combat troops; 100,000ish support troops, three thousand or so tanks and infantry combat vehicles; a couple thousand artillery with millions of shells; and air support of combat rotary and fixed wing that responds immediately.
Russia has none of this. So, no quick ‘victory’.
Russia’s option with deployed soldiers now and within the next six months is the Grind: grind down Ukrainian defenders with untrained infantry, get those Ukrainian troops exhausted until they start making fatal mistakes. Push all the time, regardless of the blood.
Russia has about 1 million army active and 2 million reserve AND could tap another 30 million males who have had a couple years of military training. Problem is, Russia cannot arm, cloth and feed much more than the million it has now. Russia hasn’t committed it’s industry to putting out the equipment needed to put another 200,000 men under arms – and politically probably fears that, since the general population is resisting call up.
All things put together, with the support provided in dribbles from the West, it seems the West’s strategy is to have Russia lose as slowly as possible, crippling the Russian military for multiple decades, and eventually causing the Russian populace to violently overthrow the Putin regime, both instances pushing Russia off the world stage as an first world power.
Even if I’m wrong with Russian losses, Russia has been acting like a loser the last year. Ukraine has been acting like a winner. That in itself is a tell.
February 11, 2023 at 2:05 pm
I don’t give a sh*t abount Unkraine borders.
I care about ours.
February 11, 2023 at 2:11 pm
I hope Russia takes down communist Zelinsky & his AZOV Nazi army.
February 11, 2023 at 3:34 pm
In WW II Stalin would send troops to attack where half would not have guns. They would wait till one of the forward soldiers with the gun was killed then pick it up and continue fighting. This might have worked 80 years ago, but the technology, training and precision is much better now. All Putin is doing is getting young men killed in a meat grinder. By summer, Ukraine will have better equipment and push Russia out.
February 11, 2023 at 10:53 pm
Lol! Russians believe the lies of Russian propaganda. 10 Ukrainians killed for every Russian through the entire one year war. It is so ridiculous only a Russian could be dumb enough to believe it.
February 12, 2023 at 12:26 am
Alleged leak from Israel`s Mossad january 25th. Ukrainian KIA 157,000 wounded hundreds of thousands. Russians 18,000 KIA, 44,000 wounded. Colonel Macgregor says Ukrainian General Zaluzhny says he has 257,000 KIA. Macgregor previously said 35, 000 dead Russians max, Ritter 20,000. Try and keep some credibility in your reporting.
February 12, 2023 at 6:08 pm
Dave! Just one of the morons I was talking about.
While I believe Ukraine when they say over 100k Russians dead, I wouldn’t believe it if they said only 10K Ukrainians. How can even Russians fall for this lunacy? It is proof that Russians are stupid, liars or stupid liars.