Forbes writes that extreme cold and snow might be responsible for the deaths of more Russian troops this fall and winter in Ukraine than elite Ukrainian troops.
“[E]lite Ukrainian formations might not be the biggest killer of Russian troops in the east,” writes David Axe in Forbes. “Under-trained, under-supplied and ambivalently led, Russians in the region are freezing to death by the dozen.
“Shocking videos that have circulated online in recent weeks tell a tragic story,” Axe reports. “The videos, shot by the Ukrainian brigades’ hovering drones, depict Russians in the late stages of hypothermia, so cold and sick that they barely react when the drones drop lethal improvised bombs on them.”
Axe quotes Thomas Theiner, a filmmaker based in Kyiv and an ex-soldier who predicted winter “would kill more Russian soldiers than Ukraine ever could.”
Video evidence from Ukrainian drones show that the early winter is already taking its toll on the ill prepared Russian invaders. Vehicles and armored equipment are getting mired in the mud due to Ukraine’s typical wet, cold beginning of winter. With daytime highs hovering near freezing and nighttime lows dipping near zero, wet troops, lacking shelter, winter gear, and winter uniforms, are freezing or becoming hypothermic quickly. As Axe describes the situation:
When you’re wet, hungry and exposed to the nighttime cold, it doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in. One bad night is enough. Even moderate hypothermia can cause confusion, decreased reflexes, and loss of motor skills in sufferers.
Which explains the drone massacre that’s been playing out lately over contested eastern towns such as Svatove, Pavlivka, and Bakhmut. Hypothermic Russian troops aren’t even trying to flee when Ukraine’s bomb-armed quadcopter drones buzz overhead. The soldiers barely flinch when a bomb explodes in their fighting position.
One drone video shows a Russian soldier struggling with frozen fingers to commit suicide with his gun.
Winter conditions in Ukraine will only get worse.