Ukraine update: Spring rains arrive; Ukrainian defenders prepare for potentially ‘decisive’ battles

Ukraine update: Spring rains arrive; Ukrainian defenders prepare for potentially ‘decisive’ battles

Today has seen little evident movement in Ukraine—literally—as spring rains fall on much of the region, kicking off “mud season” in the flat farmlands of eastern Ukraine. Behind those frontlines, both Russian attackers and Ukrainian defense forces are continuing to frantically rush whatever equipment they can to the Donbas in preparation for what may be the decisive campaign of the war. Russia is, according to analysts, looking to seize a wide swath of Ukraine’s eastern half all at once; Ukrainian territorial defenders face the existential mission of holding off that advance, preventing the desired encirclement of entrenched Ukrainian troops.

The Russian plan is generally considered risky, if not outright bizarre, in that it appears to mirror much of Russia’s failed approach to taking Kyiv.

The successful Ukrainian defense of Kyiv has now unleashed a new flood of NATO weapons headed for the country as nations largely abandon previous wariness about providing “offensive” weaponry. Tanks and other armored equipment are now on their way—but little of that new aid has arrived yet. Ukraine’s armed forces have taken deliveries of much-needed drones and anti-armor missiles, but it will take longer for the newly promised equipment to make its way into the country and the frontlines.

Continued rain would be good news for Ukraine’s defenders, as it would limit Russian advances to major roads, and could slow the pace of Russian attacks to the point where some of the new NATO-provided weapons can be delivered.

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