What was once a frozen battlefield and snow-covered forest has transformed into an impenetrable quagmire that is making it difficult for the Russian forces to make any headway in Ukraine’s east. The situation is particularly grim around the city of Bakhmut, where the roads have turned into rivers and the trenches are now filled with knee-deep mud.
The conditions will likely benefit the Ukrainian troops, who are well entrenched and defending the town with vigour.
On the other hand, Russian forces are finding it tough to make progress due to the challenging conditions that demand speed and agility.
A commander of a front-line rocket artillery unit, Mykola said: “Both sides stay in their positions because, as you see, spring means mud. Thus, it is impossible to move forward.”
The Russian military, with assistance from the Wagner Group mercenaries, is making a desperate attempt to encircle the remaining Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut in order to force them to retreat.
Despite heavy losses in the ongoing battle, the Russian forces have been slowly advancing towards Kyiv’s defensive lines in the area for over six months.
Despite the increasingly challenging nature of the battle, Ukraine has refused to give up the fight for the town, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky, although reports suggest military planners are preparing for a possible withdrawal.
Ukrainian military officials remain encouraged by the high number of Russian casualties, which have at times approached 1,000 men in a single week of fighting.
As a result, there is talk of bolstering the Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut to further strengthen their position.
The war largely slowed to a grinding stalemate during the winter months.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia: “wants to turn every day for our people into a day of terror.”
He added: “But evil will not reign in our land.”