Wintertime War vs. Wartime Winter

November 12,2022 347
Wintertime War vs. Wartime Winter

Although the approaching winter can slow down warfare activities, the war will not come to a halt during the wintertime, which will be more beneficial for the Ukrainian defenders than for the Russian invaders, experts say.

“The winter will slow down every activity on the battlefield for all sides … It’s beneficial for all sides. You will have a rest,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told Reuters.

However, his winter forecast is that the season will bring more advantages to Ukraine, which will come out of it “strong, reinforced by thousands of soldiers being trained in Britain.” “We will use this time with a maximum result for our armed forces, for regrouping, for refreshing and for rotation and we will prepare them well,” the minister said.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is even more optimistic in terms of benefits for Ukraine and doubts that winter weather will make fighting in Ukraine halt or enter a stalemate. It also calls the Western assumptions of the contrary as “faulty.”

According to ISW, logistical difficulties rather than winter weather can slow advances, such as shortages of equipment or ammunition as well as the need to adapt some military equipment for colder weather. And the Institute, too, believes that the winter will be more beneficial for Ukraine, which will hardly stop advancing:

“Winter weather could disproportionately harm poorly-equipped Russian forces in Ukraine, but well-supplied Ukrainian forces are unlikely to halt their counteroffensives due to the arrival of winter weather and may be able to take advantage of frozen terrain to move more easily than they could in the muddy autumn months.”

ISW also opposes some US and Western European defense officials who see an “expected winter slowdown in fighting as an opportunity for diplomacy to begin between Russia and Ukraine.”

“A wintertime ceasefire would only benefit Russian forces, who would use that opportunity to bolster their faltering defenses and continue their genocidal campaign to eradicate Ukrainian identity in occupied parts of Ukraine,” according to ISW.

Off the battlefields, it is the Ukrainian civilian population who are really and seriously at a disadvantage already now and will be the more so during the upcoming winter. According to various estimates, the Russian massive missile and drone attacks on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure have already damaged up to 40 percent of the power facilities, and nobody knows whether the Kremlin intends to go on with this type of genocide.

This means that, for Ukraine, the wartime winter may turn very difficult as compared to the wintertime war, both calling on the Western powers to boost their aid to Ukraine – both military and humanitarian.