Extreme winter weather and storm conditions in mostly southern regions of Ukraine, and notably Odesa, is currently ongoing, affecting both civilian life and infrastructure availability, as well as military operations. Some of the storm is overlapping with bordering Russian regions. Reportedly, around 400 settlements in Ukraine across ten different regions are without electricity, said Ukrainian President Zelenskiy on Sunday. In occupied Crimea, Russian-installed advisor Oleg Kryuchkov said that 498,000 people were without electricity, citing Russian state-owned power company Krymenergo. Zelenskiy thanked military servicemembers and rescue services for both handling the stormy weather and low temperatures during their respective duties across the country.
High winds, flooding, snow-filled roads and snowed-in houses, downed power lines, damage to buildings and vehicles, and more civil disruption is reported across these affected areas. Lack of access to electricity, the internet/phone network, and related sub-infrastructure like water and transportation are also reported issues. The Ukrainian outlet Nexta reported that wind speeds were up to 40 meters per second (89mph) in Crimea and that trees and roofs were being torn off.
The impact of this weather on military conditions, especially as heavy fighting continues for Avdiivka and other key locations in the east and south of the frontlines of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, will likely be significant as mud freezes and trenches harden. On the coast, several Russian military entrenchments in Crimea were reportedly washed away from a high storm surge. Other factors, like hypothermia, obscured positions, snowdrift camouflages, slowing of mechanical and electrical systems, and various standard impacts of cold or extreme weather events on conflict, are to be expected.
A storm washed away trenches in occupied Crimea that Russian army dug out on the beaches.
According to information from Crimean media, in Yevpatoria the water washed away the defense line on the coast, engineering buildings and firing positions.
The speed of wind at the coasts… pic.twitter.com/D9fFoISSYK
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) November 26, 2023
The storm continues to rage. In particular, the deterioration of weather conditions — in Odesa, Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad and other regions of Ukraine. Emergency services work in enhanced mode. pic.twitter.com/ijgk9pk9WJ
— Ukraine Front Lines (@EuromaidanPR) November 26, 2023
?? Confirmed: Metrics show a significant decline in internet connectivity in parts of Crimea, Sevastopol and Odesa, Southern Ukraine, after heavy snow and storms bring down power and telecoms lines, knocking tens of thousands of subscribers offline ?? pic.twitter.com/JVdocGhRey
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) November 26, 2023