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    HomeWorldUkraine's Battlefields Are Freezing. Here's What That Means for the War.

    Ukraine’s Battlefields Are Freezing. Here’s What That Means for the War.

    Ukraine’s Battlefields Are Freezing. Here’s What That Means for the War.

    Temperatures in eastern Ukraine have been well below freezing in recent days, hardening the ground and opening a window for potential winter offensives by both sides.

    But such pushes may not come, either now or during a more sustained cold spell.

    analysts within and outside Ukraine say that while the shift from muddy to frozen terrain is important in enabling the use of wheeled combat and support vehicles, it's just one of many factors commanders would consider before risking a major assault.

    More important are the availability of reserves, equipment and ammunition, and the need to create weak spots to exploit in enemy lines.

    Both sides are being stretched by slow, but resource-sapping offensives already underway. Russian forces are trying to take Bakhmut and nearby Soledar, while Ukrainian troops are attacking Kreminna and Svatove; all are small-to-mid-sized towns in the eastern Donbas region that claims to have annexed, but only partially occupies.

    “The situation around Soledar and Bakhmut is forcing our command to use more reserves in this direction, so it may be that in the close future there won't be enough left to conduct a big offensive in the south, from Zaporizhzhia, or anywhere else,” said Igor Levchenko, head of strategic modeling at New Geopolitics, a -based think tank.

    How the conflict evolves over the coming months is likely to be determined less by changes in weather…

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