In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have made significant advances against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. However, some Russian pundits are refusing to acknowledge the Ukrainian military’s successes, and instead, are blaming the rain.
According to these pundits, the rainy weather in eastern Ukraine is giving Ukrainian soldiers an advantage over the separatists. They claim that the rain makes it difficult for the separatists to navigate the slippery terrain, while the Ukrainians are better equipped to handle the conditions.
One such pundit, Dmitry Kiselyov, who hosts a popular news show on Russian state television, recently stated that “rain is a powerful ally of Ukraine” and that the Ukrainians are “advancing in a swamp.” Another pundit, Vitaly Tretyakov, has suggested that the Ukrainian military intentionally chose to launch its offensive during the rainy season.
While it is true that rainy weather can pose challenges for military operations, it is difficult to believe that it is the sole reason for the Ukrainian military’s recent successes. Ukrainian forces have made gains in territory and killed dozens of separatists in recent weeks, indicating a significant shift in the balance of power.
It is also worth noting that the Russian military has its own experience with fighting in rain and other adverse weather conditions. During the Soviet-Afghan War, the Soviet army faced numerous challenges from the country’s rugged terrain and harsh weather. Yet, they were ultimately able to maintain a significant presence in the country for nearly a decade.
So why are some Russian pundits refusing to acknowledge the Ukrainian military’s successes? It is likely that they are adhering to the official Russian government line, which denies any involvement in the conflict and portrays the separatists as defenders of their homeland. Acknowledging the Ukrainian military’s progress would be a direct contradiction of this narrative.
Ultimately, blaming the rainy weather for Ukrainian advances is a weak attempt to deflect attention from the fact that the separatists are losing ground. It is also a sign that some Russian pundits are unwilling to acknowledge any success by Ukraine, no matter how significant.