ISW tells how storm on Black Sea affects military operations at frontline
A cyclone in the Black Sea and southern Ukraine has damaged infrastructure in many areas of coastal southern Russia and occupied Ukraine and is affecting the pace of hostilities along the front line
This was reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Russian sources have published images and footage of the cyclone's impact on civilian and transport infrastructure in the coastal areas of the Krasnodar Krai, in particular near Sochi, Anapa, Gelendzhik, Novorossiysk and Tuapse.
Ukrainian and Russian sources also noted that the coastal areas of occupied Crimea, occupied Kherson region, and most of Odesa region were severely affected by heavy snow and high winds, leaving a large part of the population without power supply.
In particular, the Ukrainian Navy and Ukraine's Southern Operational Command reported that the dangerous weather in the Black Sea forced Russia to return all of its naval vessels and missile carriers to their base points.
A prominent Russian milblogger warned that the threat of mines in the Black Sea will increase for both military and civilian vessels in the coming days because the storm has broken boom nets and dispersed minefields, causing mines to drift throughout the northwestern Black Sea.
Several sources also reported that the storm damaged rail lines in coastal areas, which may have logistical ramifications for Russian forces in occupied Crimea and southern Ukraine.
Despite the challenging weather conditions, both Russian and Ukrainian forces are continuing ground attacks throughout Ukraine, albeit at a slightly slower pace due to snow and resulting poor visibility.
Russian milbloggers noted that heavy snow and winds have reduced visibility and complicated aerial reconnaissance and artillery correction in the Kherson direction, but noted that Ukrainian forces have taken advantage of low visibility conditions to consolidate positions on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River.
Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun reported that Russian forces in the Tavriisk direction (ranging from Avdiivka all the way through western Zaporizhia region) have reduced artillery use by one and a half times and drone use six times due to the weather but emphasized that Russian forces continue to heavily use aviation in the Avdiivka direction.
Difficult winter conditions will force both sides to rely more on infantry-led ground attacks in the absence of aerial reconnaissance and artillery correction capabilities.