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Winter conditions favor Ukraine military over Russia

Dec 11, 2023

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As Ukraine’s cold season, spanning November through March, approaches its coldest month, January, both Ukrainian and Russian troops are gearing up for a new phase of the war. Extreme freezing temperatures can significantly impact the performance of weapons and equipment, influencing the ability of troops to advance or retreat.

Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan highlights that a key aspect of the current war revolves around the weather. He argues that the cold temperatures favor Zelenskyy’s forces and pose challenges for Russia’s military operations.

Excerpted from Peter’s Dec. 11 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

We’re checking in on Ukraine today, and it appears that Mother Nature is keeping temps cold, the ground frozen, and enabling operations to continue. This means the Ukraine War will shift towards a war of logistics – which the Russians are notoriously bad at. As for the Ukrainians, it means support from outside countries will be even more critical in the coming months.

Hey everybody, Peter zeihan here coming to you from the Chicago River Walk, I figured I owed you an update on what’s going on in Ukraine. Really, this is a weather thing. So normally what happens when it turns from summer into fall into winter is you get a six week period, kind of mud season where everything gets all gooey. Well, it looks like that’s not really happening this year, it’s been much colder. And as a result of operations can continue. But if there’s going to be a limiting factor in the war, it’s probably going to be equipment. Most of the Western countries have already provided the Ukrainians with all of the spare gear that they have, and anything they provide at this point, they have to dig into their stocks of what is actually operational equipment. And that’s a very different decision-making process. So we’re probably not going to see the sort of big camera offenses that we’ve seen the attempts Lussier, the big after operations we saw last year, instead, this is likely to turn into a word logistics. Now the Russians are have never been very good at that. And the Ukrainians have proven that they’re able to take basically garage project missiles and take out Russian flagships. So expect the Ukrainians to be going after rail nodes, especially in the areas of Crimea and southwestern Russia.
There was this massive storm in the Black Sea last month, that did a lot of damage in those areas that the Russians are still cleaning up, which makes it’s kind of a perfect time for the Ukrainians to snarl things as much as possible. And if you consider how poorly the Russian soldiers have fought and how badly they’ve been equipped, to all of a sudden lose access to resupply is something that can really hit him where it hurts, the Russians have made it very clear what sort of targets they go after. Their guidance isn’t nearly as good as what the weapon systems are that the West has provided to the Russians. So they go after static emplacements, specifically power nodes and rail junctions. So you should expect large scale brown blackouts to be carpeting, Ukraine over and over and over again.

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