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War in winter. ‘Being in the trenches is a major mistake’ |

Rains begin before snow. Rain trenches, sometimes soldier fills his boots. Soldiers’ feet get wet and freeze. This can lead to gangrene if left unchecked.

As the temperature drops, the soil freezes, making it difficult to dig trenches.

The hottest battles right now of Ukraine goes in the eastern Donbas region. Russians hit the city of Bakhmut, Ukraine and his forces are slightly to the north free they try to keep their territories in their hands.

Now the main thing that makes a difference is the fall of cold. The negative temperature complicates the condition of soldiers, the operation of equipment and vehicles, and general movement and strategy.

But I wonder if the cold will freeze the conflict until spring, or one of the parties will take advantage of the opportunity and try to gain an advantage? Military observers are looking for answers to these questions.

Even if one side gains the upper hand, a ground war will turn into months of torture for soldiers on both sides.

“This is very bad. It will be cold and wet – no doubt about it. Weather it’s air, mud is mud. Even with technology, it is impossible to do anything about it. But the Russians will be much worse off than the Ukrainians. …Newly mobilized, poorly equipped soldiers, lack of leadership…”, – 2014-2018in Europe in the years USA who was the commander of the forces, retired USA army general Ben Hoges (Ben Hodges) says.

of Ukraine more to the northeast and east snow it rained The temperature has dropped below zero in many parts of the country.

Russian missile strikes have destroyed a large part of the country’s electricity and heating infrastructure. Millions of people living in cities and villages struggle to keep their homes warm, charge their phones and find water.

Experts say that the situation in the trenches is much more difficult. “In general, being in the trenches is a major mistake. A ditch is the worst place you can be in summer or winter. You must be able to spread your forces into the forested areas,” – Finnish officer, Finland in Helsinki National Defense University professor colonel Janna Makitalo (Janne Makitalo) says.

“Digging trenches is not considered a very modern way of waging war. Both because of the water and when drones are flying around, there are not many opportunities to get involved.” – he says.

Western intelligence officials weather they are of the opinion that as it cools down, the fighting will subside.

“We are already seeing a slight decrease in the tempo of the conflict, and we think we will see it in the coming months.” USA national director of intelligence Avril Heinz (Avril Haines) said at the presentation held on December 3. However, not everyone shares this conclusion.

Ukraine spokesman for the army’s eastern command Serhiy Cherevaty said this week that when the mud freezes and the ground hardens, tanks and heavy tracked vehicles will be able to move more easily.

Military we are doing everything to be ready for the winter period of operations. We prepare our equipment; …we equip the units with special clothing and ammunition, as well as equipment that allows them to warm up and rest,” – Cherevatiy of the Ministry of Defense news service told “Army Inform”.

“Winter is usually mechanized in Ukraine military it is the best season for equipment. And summer is the worst season to fight in Ukraine. Snow and melting ice raises water levels in rivers and turns fields into seas of mud. Likely, Ukraine their forces are preparing to take advantage of the frozen ground. The frozen ground will allow them to move more easily than in the muddy autumn months. – says the Institute of War Science, a research center located in Washington.

Winter conditions pose great problems for troops in the field: both in trenches, in mud, in snow, where tracks are easily visible, and in forested areas, where it is difficult to hide from drones because the trees are leafless.

“Everything is moving a bit slowly, your soldiers [enerjisini] exhausts them, the cold weakens them,” – Hojes says.

Russia plain clothes and cold in the army weather It is said that there are serious problems with the equipment to survive and fight in the conditions. The sudden mobilization of hundreds of thousands of people overwhelmed Russia’s logistics and supply networks.

Some newly mobilized associations such as “Telegram”. in social networks they complain that they have to buy their own equipment, such as heating stoves. It is also reported that Russia is turning to North Korea’s clothing factories to buy winter uniforms and underwear for its troops.

Makitalo says the new “mobikes” (the nickname given to newly mobilized soldiers) do not have new equipment. “If you’re in a war zone in the winter with only a pair of shoes, you’re out of the military and cannon fodder.” – he says.

Russia increasingly behaves like a 20th century Soviet army, with kitsch from the 1960s and 1970s. Under these conditions, I can’t see how Russia can make a serious turn on the battlefield.”Russia experienced security forces expert Mark Galeotti he said in an interview with “Daily Telegraph” last month.

The Russian army also suffers from a lack of discipline and unity. For months, there have been reports of incessant acts of disobedience and even desertion. Russian media about the formation of “barrier troops”. news spread The task of these troops is to prevent Russian military units from retreating or disobeying the commander’s orders.

“In winter, you have to give water to the soldiers. Of course, disease will spread quickly within an undisciplined community that meets its biological needs in a trench. – Hojes says.

However, Russia, which continues to strengthen its ranks with the newly mobilized 300,000 soldiers, may try to maintain its positions until spring.

“The stoicism of Russian soldiers cannot be underestimated. There have been many wars in which they stood patiently even though they were defeated.” – former professor of war science at King’s College London Laurence Friedman (Lawrence Freedman) says in a recent podcast.

As for the Ukrainians, they receive not only artillery and ammunition from their Western backers, but also modern winter clothing. Recently Britain Ministry of Defence Canada has sent 195,000 winter clothes and 500,000 winter uniforms.

Pentagon last month 20He said that he sent more than 0 electricity generators. The Pentagon previously announced that it had sent thousands of tents, heaters and cold weather clothing.

“But the supply of the Russian side is endless. The Russians have so much ammunition, so many vehicles, so many explosives and rockets that Ukraine is still weak in this situation. “Ukrainians do not have enough winter clothing, winter combat boots, rubber boots with a warming layer inside, and winter gloves.” Makitalo says.

“It is important to provide heaters, heated tents, and sleeping bags to heat the bunkers. Sleeping mats are very important so that they don’t sleep on the cold ground. Power generators are needed to charge batteries, computers, control systems, drones, mobile phones.”he added.

As for larger vehicles – howitzers, armored personnel carriers, tanks and trucks – here, too, soldiers suffer from routine maintenance issues. At negative temperatures, oil starts to become sticky; low quality rubber helmets may crack.

“It is difficult to do the work related to the cars, repair work. You must have different types of lubricants for artillery. You must maintain the correct level of tire pressure. You have to have a good logistics system to support you,” – Hojes says.

Normal field methods are also different in winter, says Makitalo: When the Finnish army trains its soldiers in cold weather, they teach them to clean the oil from the barrel of a gun before leaving their tents and going out into the cold. Otherwise, condensation will form on the metal, which will then freeze and cause the gun to jam.

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