With temperatures set to plunge in Ukraine in the coming days, Russian soldiers in the 40-mile convoy of tanks could freeze to death. Glen Grant, a senior defence expert at the Baltic Security Foundation, told Newsweek that the tanks will turn into huge refrigerators for the Russian army if they are not running the engine.
“The boys won’t wait, they will get out, start walking to the forest, and give themselves up to avoid freezing to death,” Grant added.
The concerns have been raised as the convoy, heading towards Ukraine capital Kyiv, has slowed down amid the war. It is currently 19 miles from the city centre, The Independent reported.
Eastern Europe will soon be under the grip of a cold snap around the middle of the week, during which the temperature is expected to drop to minus 20 degrees Celsius. Kyiv and other areas are already experiencing minus 10 degrees Celsius.
Former British Army Major Kevin Price told The Daily Mail that Russians’ tanks will become nothing more than “40-ton freezers” as the mercury drops. He added that bitter conditions will destroy the morale of troops not prepared for Arctic-style warfare.
The convoy has been stuck due to mechanical problems and fuel supply issues, as reported by multiple publications.
The plunging temperature could also create trouble for thousands of refugees who are leaving Ukraine.
More than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion nearly two weeks ago. Moscow calls its action a “special military operation” to disarm its neighbour and dislodge leaders it calls “neo-Nazis.”
Kyiv and its Western allies dismiss that as a baseless pretext for an unprovoked war against a democratic country of 44 million people.
The war has swiftly cast Russia into economic isolation never before visited on such a large economy. Western companies, like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and others have swiftly withdrawn from the Russian market.
The United States said on Tuesday it was banning imports of Russian oil, a major policy change after energy was previously exempted from sanctions.