How the Ukrainian army prepares for winter and what weapons Ukraine needs most now. Review of foreign media on November 17

Anton Semyzhenko


The American public broadcaster NPR published an article about how the Ukrainian military prepares for war in winter. As the journalists stated, if until now the Russian-Ukrainian war resembled a deadly game of hide-and-seek, with the onset of winter this will change: there will be nothing to hide under. However, this does not mean that the war can slow down or freeze: Western experts predict a lull on the front until spring, as was the case, for example, in Afghanistan. However, in this part of the globe, active battles, attacks and counter-attacks took place even with snow. The war slowed down in mid-autumn due to wet roads, in particular, the mud affected the pace of the advance of the Ukrainian military in the Kherson region, NPR writes with reference to the comments of the Ukrainian Armed Forces officials. "Itʼs just that now intelligence and artillery will become even more important in war," says a military man with the nickname Playboy. "Which party will be more effective in these two directions will achieve the most success." Meanwhile, fighters in more static areas of the front, such as near the Russian border in the Kharkiv region, arrange their positions taking into account winter conditions. The media correspondent was allowed into one of the dugouts there ― insulated, with a wood-burning stove. Making coffee, the fighter Oleg assured: "We have everything. Itʼs warm, you see. [Winter] is not a problem at all.” Western aid, in particular warm military uniforms, saves the situation. However, the authors note, in order for Ukraineʼs military plans for the winter to be successfully implemented, the allies need more warm clothing and accurate weapons.

In order to defend its hard-won gains in this war, Ukraine needs more anti-aircraft and anti-missile defenses, Justin Bronk, a senior researcher at the London-based RUSI Center for Security Studies, writes in War On The Rocks. Yes, the Russian Air Force proved to be largely ineffective in this war. This was manifested both in numerous mistakes and in the result: despite the quantitative and qualitative advantage in technology, the Russians were unable to seize control over the Ukrainian skies. The Ukrainian Armed Forces can owe this, in particular, to mobile air defense systems. However, the supply of shells for both the Buk and S-300, which were in service with Ukraine before the full-scale invasion, as well as for the IRIS-T and NASAMS from the allies, are limited, and Russia has clearly made a bet on the exhaustion of the Ukrainian air defense system. One of the goals of mass strikes by missiles and drones is to exhaust the reserves of Ukrainian air defense. If this happens, the Russians will be able to use their bombers and attack aircraft effectively. This can cause colossal damage to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and return the Russia initiative in the war. Therefore, it is the shells and installations that destroy missiles, drones and aircraft that the West should focus on in its next aid packages, concludes Bronk.

The topic of preparing the Ukrainian energy grid for winter has become a key issue in the negotiations between Kyiv and foreign partners, writes Politico with reference to sources familiar with the progress of the negotiations. The Ukrainian side insists: for now, the country is trying to restore critical damage on its own, but if the Russian attacks continue, our ability to restore the networks will simply not be enough. Negotiations are already underway on the systematic provision of generators, transformers, and switches by the West. Ukrainian and Western interlocutors tell Politico that Ukraineʼs ability to resist this part of Russian terror is directly related to its success at the front. After all, it is clear that the more actively the Ukrainian Armed Forces advance on the front, the more intensively the Kremlin will attack the power grid, so that the government will have more problems and Ukrainians will suffer.