Rain and mud take their toll on the warring parties

Dhe autumn mud season is now significantly hampering the warring parties in eastern Ukraine in their operations. The American Institute for War Studies (ISW) reported on Tuesday, citing Russian and Ukrainian sources, that heavy rain and soggy terrain have forced Russian forces to all but halt their ground attacks in this stretch of the front since Sunday. The Ukrainian advances would be slowed, if not halted, by the mud season.

According to the Ukrainian general staff, the warring parties are still fighting fiercely in some hotspots in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia is concentrating its attack on Avdiivka and Bakhmut, it said. The two cities in the Donetsk region have been the target of massive and costly Russian offensive efforts for months, which the Ukrainians have been able to repel so far. The Ukrainian general staff spoke of an “active defense” of its troops in the areas around the towns of Kupjansk, Lyman and Novopavlivka, as well as for the front in the southern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia. This refers to the Ukrainians’ own attacks.

No hope for a protection zone around nuclear power plants

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which was occupied by Russian troops, was fired on again at the beginning of the week, according to the Ministry of Defense in Moscow. A spokesman for the Interfax agency said eight large-caliber grenades were fired at an industrial part of the power plant, without specifying the details. Initially, there was no confirmation from Kyiv or from the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is located on the left bank of the Dnipro, which forms a natural barrier between Ukrainian and Russian troops from its mouth to here after the Russians extensively shortened the front in the Cherson region. Because the front bends in this section, it is a hinge position that plays an enormous operational role for both sides.

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