Ukraine is taking advantage of a storm grounding Russia's air power to fortify a vital bridgehead, analysts say

  • A cyclone is dropping heavy rain and snow around the Dnipro River in Ukraine, a think tank reported.

  • The storm is weakening Russian air power in the area, a military analyst said.

  • Ukrainian forces are using the time to strengthen their positions on the eastern bank, per the ISW.

Ukrainian forces are using an ongoing cyclone to reinforce their positions on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, the Washington DC-based Institute of the Study of War said.

It cited two Russian military bloggers who said that Ukrainian soldiers are taking advantage of the low visibility brought on by heavy snow and strong winds, and weakening Russian defenses, to strengthen their positions in the area.

One said that wind gusts of about 85 miles per hour were making it impossible for Russian forces to use artillery and aerial reconnaissance, which in turn has allowed Ukrainian troops to entrench their positions on the eastern bank of the river.

However, it added that winter conditions have also helped Russian troops advance to the center of Krynky, pushing Ukrainian forces out of the south of the village.

Ukraine can't bring in new troops because of high waves and wind on the right bank of the Dnipro River, it said.

Rybar, an anonymous blogger rumored to have connections to the Kremlin, made a similar assessment in a Telegram post on Monday.

The account said that units of the Ukrainian navy were taking advantage of the low visibility brought on by winter conditions to hold the line in a forest near Krynky.

But, it added, Ukraine's 38th and 36th Marine Brigades suffered losses on Sunday when they tried to take control of the central and southern parts of Krynky, right before the storm hit.

Ants Kiviselg, head of the Estonian Defense Forces' Intelligence Center, told Estonian broadcaster ERR last week that increased rain and low clouds would discourage the use of aerial weapons, like drones, and that Ukrainian attacks would likely force Russia to divert ground troops from the front lines to the Dnipro River.

Kiviselg added that worsening winter conditions would likely restrict vehicle movements and flood trenches, turning the war into a "battle of wills."

"And there is no doubt that Ukraine will have a much greater will to win these battles as it defends its own country," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider