Over the weekend, a major winter storm spread across Ukraine. Bad weather affected all regions of the country, destroying Russian defenses in occupied Crimea and causing 10 reported deaths in the Odesa area. The storm wasn’t quite as bad along the Zaporizhzhia front as it was further to the west, but all regions of Ukraine appear to have been affected, largely putting a stop to major military operations while both sides hunkered down against wind, snow, and plunging temperatures.
However, not every operation went on hold. At this point in the invasion, Russia continues to rely heavily on the use of artillery. Even the older-generation tanks it brings to the front lines are often relegated to hanging back and acting as additional, less-effective guns. Unlike some of the systems available to Ukraine, almost all the Russian artillery is traditional “non-precision” weaponry. It has a variety of older guided shells that can be delivered to a target with the help of a laser spot, and it has the KAB-500S-E glide bombs based on GLONASS (Russia’s version of GPS). Identifying targets for those shells (and for the thousands of “dumb” shells Russia throws every day) is now largely the job of surveillance drones.
Thanks to the storm, those surveillance drones were grounded. And Ukraine took that opportunity to claw back some ground.
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