Russian troops could freeze in their tracks as temperatures plummet to -10C

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Russian forces risk literally being frozen in their tracks, experts have claimed.

Temperatures in Ukraine are set to plummet to as low as -10C over the next few days, and icy easterly winds sweeping across the nation will see the air get frosty in Kyiv and the country's second city of Kharkiv.

Despite the already freezing temperatures, forecasters have suggested it may feel as cold as -20C when wind chill is taken into account – meaning troops may be forced to choose between sitting in ‘40-tonne iron freezer' tanks or abandoning them completely.

Analysts think the cold weather will make Russia ’s invasion more difficult, especially for those troops stuck in a 40-mile column of vehicles stalled north of Kyiv.

A Ukrainian source told The Times: "It will affect those in the long-staying convoys; it means that Russian troops staying alongside the roads will be suffering."

Meanwhile Major Kevin Price, who served in the British Army for 20 years, confirmed: "Minus 20C will degrade the Russian force, there is no question.

"It will improve cross-country mobility because there will be less mud but the Russians are not ready for Arctic conditions."

He also pointed out that without suitable clothing, the continuation of conflict would be ‘unbelievably tough’.

The prospect of fuel shortages would also mean that soldiers could not run their engines to keep warm.

"Imagine being sat in a 40-tonne iron freezer all night," Major Price continued.

And it's not just the soldiers themselves who will suffer due to the bout of cold, as the vehicles may be damaged in the freeze, with oils and lubricants needed to keep the tanks in good nick.

With all of these factors combined, Major Price suggested the cold weather threatens to destroy morale among Russian troops, wearing soldiers down.

He said: “It’s not a decisive factor, but it is a very unwelcome development for Russian commanders.”

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However, it's not just Russia who will suffer from the drop in temperature – with the frosty air being even colder than usual this year, both sides might be unprepared for the change in conditions.

Senior fellow for land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, Brigadier Ben Barry, observed that bad weather would also affect Ukrainian forces.

He said: "It will slow things down, but it will slow things down for both sides.

"The proportion of troops that start suffering cold injuries like frostbite will go up."

This comes after a Nato military official said that Russia is making very little progress in its invasion of its neighbouring Ukraine.

The official said: “We see very little change. For the first time, we don’t expect them to make any gains in the next few days.”

  • Military
  • Russia
  • Russia Ukraine war
  • Vladimir Putin

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