With few exceptions, the winter months usually mean military battles come to a freezing halt. Days are shorter, equipment malfunctions and even soldiers can’t escape the basic human need for warmth.

This winter comes at one of the worst times for Russian troops who have already faced a surprisingly stiff Ukrainian military defense of its borders. As former Special Forces officer Liam Collins explains, since the invasion began in February 2022, Russia’s best forces have been decimated throughout the conflict, suffering from low morale and now increasingly dependent on untrained conscripts.

Collins writes that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Ukrainians launch another counteroffensive before spring turns the hard, frozen terrain into a wet, muddy quagmire.

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Howard Manly

Race + Equity Editor

A man walks amid buildings damaged by Russian missiles in Ukraine on Nov. 28, 2022. Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russian troops’ poor performance and low morale may worsen during a winter of more discontent

Liam Collins, United States Military Academy West Point

Given their numbers advantage, Russian troops were expected to quickly capture Ukraine. That didn’t happen, and with winter approaching, more Russian military defeats are expected.

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