Rainy weather in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region could favor that country’s army in its fight against invading Russian forces, which are preparing a stronger offensive in the zone, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday.
For several days, rain has battered Donbas and is expected to continue in the coming days alongside warming temperatures.
“The fact that the ground is softer will make it harder for them to do anything off of paved highways,” said the official, who spoke under condition of anonymity.
The weather already played an important role in Ukraine’s north at the beginning of the invasion, when the fact that the ground was not sufficiently frozen forced Russian tanks to circulate in long convoys on paved roads, making them vulnerable to the Ukrainian forces’ Javelin anti-tank systems.
The Donbas region, which is geographically situated on a large plane, is more favorable to armed vehicles.
“The weather will certainly be a factor in war,” the official added.
At the moment, Russian forces are still preparing for their new offensive in the east, but the official said, “It’s very difficult for us to tell you with certainty... when D Day is for this.”
“How far they’ll go, what that means, whether that’s the end of it, we just don’t know that much detail right now,” the official said.
“What we’re seeing today is what we would call shaping operations,” the official said, adding that the United States believes Russia wants “to achieve some physical tangible objectives in the Donbas within the next couple of weeks.”
French President Emmanuel Macron recently estimated that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would focus his attacks on the Donbas to achieve a victory associated with May 9, the anniversary of the capture of Nazi Germany in 1945.
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