Rasputitsa is a Russian term for two seasons of the year, spring and autumn.
It describes muddy road conditions in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, which are caused by the poor drainage of underlying clay-laden soils found in the region.
This weather phenomenon during which roads are subject to weight limitations and closures, is also known as “menföre” (bad going) in Sweden, and “kelirikko” or “rospuutto” (broken going) in Finland.
Just like that:
Rasputitsa in wartime
Rasputitsa seasons of Russia are well known as a great defensive advantage in wartime:
- A spring thaw probably saved Novgorod from conquest and sacking during the 13th-century Mongol invasion.
- During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, Napoleon found the mud a great hindrance.
- On the Eastern Front during the Second World War, the months-long muddy period slowed the German advance during the Battle of Moscow (October 1941 to January 1942) and may have helped save the Soviet capital from German occupation.
- In the opposite direction, the rasputitsa slowed down the Soviet counter-offensive in 1943. The thaw generated a mud season which lasted 3-4 weeks and covered an area from Crimea to Belarus within days.
- The advent of motorised warfare had the disadvantage that while tanks could operate effectively in summer or in winter, they proved less useful in spring and autumn, when the functioning of an efficient railway system came into its own.
Rasputitsa for Russian operation in Ukraine
Prior to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, some analysts identified the logistical challenges of the mud season as a likely hindrance to any large-scale invasion in spring.
When Russia did cross the border, many of its mobile units found themselves stranded in fields and limited to major roads, where resistance and logistical issues significantly slowed the advance towards Kyiv.
Rasputitsa triggers final assault?
According to the latest weather forecasts, the phenomenon could appear as fast as mid-March.
For the Russian troops “the situation will worsen as the weather warms up and the rains begin”, confirms Mykola Beleskov. “They will find themselves nailed to the ground,” he continues.
This even happened during Russian drills about 3 weeks ago:
This will force convoys to use asphalt roads and streets or even main roads more exposed to logistical problems or attacks.
According to this french video, a large air-driven offensive is being prepared by Russia (nuclear-head surface-to-surface missiles in Belarus (NO ATOMIC BOMBS; EWOCKS JETS)… Probably because of this freaking RASPUTITSA!
Right now, the four horsemen of the Ukrainian army are the Javelin (anti-tank missile launchers), the Stinger (anti-aircraft missiles), the rasputitsa and TikTok… But soon they will be replaced by the four horsemen of the Apocalypse: conquest, war, famine, and death!
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