Rough Weather in Southern Ukraine

Rough Weather in Southern Ukraine


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.

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