Winter break in Ukraine conflict could last up to 6 months: report
The suspension of hostilities in the Russian military operation in Ukraine due to winter can last up to six months, according to the New York Times.
Rain and loose soil in late November will slow the movement of Ukrainian and Russian troops. Heavy snowfall and cold weather could also slow battlefield operations, the newspaper said.
“You’re already seeing the bad weather in Ukraine slowing things down a bit. It’s getting really muddy, which makes it difficult to do any large-scale offensives,” the US undersecretary of defense for policy said. Colin Kahl was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Meanwhile, the conflict is expected to enter a new phase due to an enforced pause in troop movement, according to the report. The Russian military will focus on strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure.
In turn, Ukrainian troops, as noted Seth Jonesvice president of the American Center for Strategic and International Studies, will continue their subversive attacks on the Russian lines.
A US official, quoted by the media, said it was important for Washington to take advantage of the winter shutdown to increase Kyiv’s arms supply.
It comes days after reports emerged that the Biden administration was “privately” encouraging Kyiv to demonstrate its willingness to negotiate with Russia, The Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the talks.
Mediation began at the end of February this year after the start of the war in Ukraine. The last round of negotiations concluded in Istanbul on 29 March. Since then, the talks have stalled despite the efforts of the United Nations.
According to the newspaper, the United States does not want Ukraine to enter into negotiations with Russia, but rather aims to ensure that Kyiv enjoys the support of other countries. “Ukraine fatigue is a reality for some of our partners,” a US official told The Washington Post.
Concerns are growing in parts of Europe, Africa and Latin America as food and fuel prices rise amid the ongoing Russian special operation in Ukraine.
Earlier in September, the Russian President Vladimir Poutine said Moscow was still open to talks with Kyiv and called on Ukraine to end hostilities. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyin turn, said that Kyiv was ready to dialogue with Moscow, but only if another president came to power in Russia.
The Kremlin replied that Moscow would expect a change of position from the current Ukrainian president or his successor.