War in Ukraine: How “Little Rasputista” will stop the Russian invasion
William Molinié, edited by Juliette Moreau Alvarez
Autumn weather in eastern Ukraine could hold back Russian forces. In fifteen days, the “little Rasputitsa” will arrive on the territory, a weather phenomenon that will turn Ukraine’s hard soil into a vast sticky mud impassable to military vehicles.
After the ‘big rasputitsa’, this season of bad roads in Ukraine’s eastern plains, comes the ‘little rasputitsa’. The first had slowed the Russian advance early in the invasion last spring. The tanks were particularly dirty because of the thaw. The same could happen in a few days with the arrival of this autumn weather, very restrictive for the Russian armed forces.
A sticky and impassable earth
From October, torrential rains will fall on the black soils of Ukraine, turning the soil into sticky mud. An area then impassable for tanks and armored vehicles, which must stay on the main axes but are therefore much more exposed to artillery fire. Because of this, several military analysts estimate that the frontline should stabilize within two weeks. There will likely be no major territorial conquests this fall season. It will be necessary to wait out the winter cold to harden this crust on which the mechanized machines can then move again.
Until then, the city of Lyman in the east seems to be of strategic importance for the Ukrainians. If they manage to capture this Russian-held lock, they can hope to attack and encircle them from the right flank. For their part, the Russians will certainly use this rainy weather, which is not conducive to large-scale maneuvers, to regenerate their forces. According to several Western officials, 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed and 30,000 others injured since the invasion of Ukraine last February.
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