Pace of fighting in Ukraine may increase in coming weeks - ISW
The overall pace of operations along the frontline has slowed in recent days due to deteriorating weather conditions but is likely to increase starting in the next few weeks as temperatures drop and the ground freezes throughout the theater.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said this in its latest update.
According to U.S. analysts, Ukrainian and Russian reporting from critical frontline areas throughout eastern and southern Ukraine, including Svatove, Bakhmut, and Vuhledar, indicates that operations on both sides are currently bogged down by heavy rain and resulting heavy mud.
However, temperatures are forecasted to drop throughout Ukraine over the next week, which will likely freeze the ground and expedite the pace of fighting as mobility increases for both sides.
The ISW report states that The temperature in areas in Ukraine's northeast, such as along the Svatove-Kreminna line, will dip to near-or-below-freezing daily highs between November 28 and December 4. It will likely take the ground some days of consistent freezing temperatures to solidify, which means that ground conditions are likely to be set to allow the pace of operations to increase throughout Ukraine over the course of the weekend of December 3-4 and into the following week.
ISW's key takeaways:
- The overall pace of operations in Ukraine is likely to increase in the upcoming weeks as the ground freezes throughout the theater.
- Russian officials are continuing efforts to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
- Russian officials may be trying to counteract Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin's growing influence through the promotion of other parallel Russian military structures.
- Russian forces are likely using inert Kh-55 missiles designed solely to carry nuclear warheads in its campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure, highlighting the Russian military's depletion of high-precision weapons.
- Russian forces continued defensive operations against ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
- Russian forces continued offensive operations in the directions of Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
- Russian forces continued establishing fortifications in eastern Kherson Oblast.
- Russian tactical, logistical, and equipment failures continue to decrease the morale of Russian troops and drive searches for scapegoats.