Winter is Coming

Winter is coming in Russia and Ukraine.  Ukraine is faced with the choice of digging in and waiting to renew its offensive in the spring or fighting on through the weather and maintaining its momentum and success.  Since it launched its counter-offensive in August, it has reclaimed some 74,000 square miles of its territory from the Russian invader while inflicting horrific casualties on the Russian army.  Not without cost though, since the war began Russia and Ukraine are both believed to have suffered casualties in the range of 100,ooo, each.  Ukrainian casualties are probably lower in terms of the number of dead because they have been much better at evacuating and caring for the wounded than Russia has.

Wars have their seasons and winter is definitely not the best one.  As Napoleon learned during his retreat from Moscow, as both the Germans and the Russians learned in WWII, as we learned during the Ardennes Offensive and in the battle for the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.  Fighting in winter is very different than in other parts of the year.

For all its gains so far, Ukraine cannot allow the Russians to dig in and fortify, train, and reequip its army for months before resuming operations in the spring.  A lull in the fighting until April means the suffering of Ukrainian citizens in the occupied areas will be prolonged.  It would mean months of Russian missiles landing on Ukrainian cities and towns. A lack of progress for months could mean a loss of interest by the West in continuing aid to Ukraine.

The lines become static and will turn into a nightmare of shelling and counter-shelling by both sides which will sap the fighting spirit of the troops of both armies.