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ISW: Vehicles and drones struggle but fighting persists in Ukraine frontline amid rainy and snowy conditions

Despite rain and snow on Ukraine’s eastern and southern fronts, Ukrainian and Russian military actions continue with operational adaptability, and an escalation of fighting is anticipated with winter’s approach, ISW says.
Ukrainian Army’s M113 armored personnel carrier in the Donbas Oblast, in eastern Ukraine. Illustrative image: ZSU’s General Staff

Ukrainian and Russian forces continue to conduct offensive operations in eastern and southern Ukraine despite rainy and snowy weather conditions, the US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War says in its daily report. 

On 20 November, Ukrainian Kherson Regional Military Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan stated that artillery fire on the western (right) bank of Kherson Oblast has diminished as a result of inclement weather conditions.

On 21 November, Ukraine’s 14th Mechanized Brigade Spokeswoman Nadiya Zamryha stated that despite the challenges posed by snow and frost, Russian forces are maintaining their offensive maneuvers in the Kupiansk area. Zamryha suggests that while the harsh weather may reduce the frequency of Russian assaults, it is unlikely to halt their operations entirely.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized the need to strengthen Ukrainian capabilities before the winter period during a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on 20 November.

On 20 and 21 November, Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian and Ukrainian forces are facing challenges in operating drones, crucial for tasks like artillery fire adjustment, due to adverse weather conditions along the front.

Russian military bloggers have noted that muddy terrain is hindering vehicle movement, yet both Ukrainian and Russian forces are persistently maneuvering in all directions despite the conditions.

“ISW continues to assess that freezing weather conditions during the winter will likely prompt the resumption of more active combat operations, and ongoing rainy weather is unlikely to halt Ukrainian or Russian attacks,” the think tank wrote.

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