Estonia Makes It Clear: Putin Is WinningBy tom On Thursday, February 16 th, 2023 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News TALLINN, Estonia — There is no mystery to Estonians as to what Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan is to win in Ukraine nor what he plans to do next, in the Baltics, as he waits out a battle of attrition that they say is in his favor. They knowRead more
Ukraine’s Supporters Scramble To Get Weapons Into The Fight, To Repeat — Not Rewrite — HistoryBy tom On Wednesday, February 15 th, 2023 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,Blog Postings ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News BRUSSELS – In 1914, as troops invading France moved through this very region, those in charge of the defense of Paris scrambled to rush men and material to blunt that offensive. They had little time to react and threw everything they could find — including taxicabs — to getRead more
As Two Big Meetings Open, Ukraine Looks To Change History As War Starts Round TwoBy tom On Monday, February 13 th, 2023 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News BRUSSELS: In the days before World War One, Germany’s ambassador to Belgium, Clause von Below-Saleske, said he was happy to be in this capital city after stints in danger zones because “Nothing ever happens in Brussels.” The Ukrainians here to meet with friends and NATO nations fervently hope thatRead more
From The Halls of Montezuma To The Halls of CongressBy tom On Saturday, January 21 st, 2023 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News WASHINGTON -Three active duty Marines have been charged with participating in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, authorities said in newly filed court papers. All three Marines, who were arrested more than two years after the attack, work in jobs connected to the intelligence community. Micah Coomer, Joshua Abate,Read more
Sorry Kyiv. They Came, They Jawed, And They Left Without Giving What Was Pleaded ForBy tom On Monday, January 23 rd, 2023 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News WASHINGTON – The big meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group was held and for hours the participants heard Ukraine plea’s for tanks and other higher grade weapons, such as log-ranger missed and ground-launched Small Diameter Bombs. Defense Sectary Austin urged all to dig deeper. But the only thing thatRead more
All Over The Board With TanksBy tom On Tuesday, January 24 th, 2023 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News WASHINGTON – Poland’s prime minister vowed to ask Germany for permission to send German-made tanks to the front lines in Ukraine, but also insisted that, whether Berlin approved or not, he would put together a coalition that would. German officials were all over the board, which some saying aRead more
From U.S. Factories With Love? Russian-style Ammo May Be Made in U.S.By tom On Thursday, December 22 nd, 2022 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News WASHINGTON — They say war makes strange bedfellows. It may also make strange weapons productions. Such as U.S. companies making, essentially, Russian military ammo. Included in the $1.85 billion military aid package formerly announced Wednesday by the Pentagon, is $850 million in assistance via the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative,Read more
“SLAVA UKANINl” — As Zelensky Brings The Stature And Face of Freedom To WashingtonBy tom On Wednesday, December 21 st, 2022 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News WASHINGTON –– He entered Washington less than 24 hours after appearing with his front-line troops in a city under war zone fire. He presented Congress with a Ukrainian battle flag, given to him on Tuesday in that frontline city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine and signed by the troops.Read more
Pentagon Perturbed At ParsingBy tom On Wednesday, November 23 rd, 2022 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,Blog Postings ,News storiesBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News WASHINGTON — In a Defense Department world where a “readout” — the name of the staid press release that portends to describe in detail a meeting or event — can be written weeks in advance, the idea of journalists being accused by Pentagon officials of trying to parse wordsRead more
Weapons Crunch Panic; Pentagon Peevish When AskedBy tom On Wednesday, November 23 rd, 2022 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,Blog Postings ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News WASHINGTON — Top European defense officials — feeling the heat of being closer to the front line of the 21st century European war — have moved beyond fretting to deep concern about diminishing weapons stockpiles in their militaries. While the Russian bear has been smacked around for the pastRead more
Extreme Avoidance: Austin Said Stamping Out Extremism Was A Priority. You Wouldn’t Know ItBy tom On Thursday, November 10 th, 2022 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News WASHINGTON — A list of more than 100 active members of the military who are connected to the extremist group the Oath Keepers has been largely ignored by the military branches, despite a proclaimed priority emphasis by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to deal with extremism in the ranks. TheRead more
For Want Of A Foot Warmer, The Winter War In The Donbas May Be DeterminedBy tom On Monday, October 31 st, 2022 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,News stories ,WritingBy Tom Squitieri Red Snow News WASHINGTON — For want of a foot warmer, the winter war in the Donbas may be determined. As the clock and nature become allies to determine the next four to six weeks of the war in Ukraine, supporters of Ukraine are rushing military supplies to Kyiv while quietly brainstormingRead more
As the clock and nature become allies to determine the next four to six weeks of the war in Ukraine, supporters of Ukraine are rushing military supplies to Kyiv while quietly brainstorming on how to defy history and keep Ukraine’s current military progress grinding forward through the muddy fields of fall and the withering cold of winter.
“They are going to slow down soon (to prepare) for the winter, but they don’t stop,” Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the CSIS International Security Program, said in an interview.
He said the deep winter could “give both sides a chance to catch their breathe and If that happen I think it will help the Russians more than the Ukrainians.”
Now, Cancian noted that “it’s a race to see which one can” make the most gains before the bad weather hits.
This changing season and resolute shifts in tactical terrains could give the Russians another shot as something they have thrown away during much of this war: an advantage.
It may come down to foot warmers.
Many forget that the fighting in the Donbas — part of eastern Ukraine — has been ongoing since 2014. That has been a four season drudge, but it left the Russian with some key pieces of knowledge – especial how to keep their troops warm, dry, and — in theory — ready to fight, or at least defend dug-in fortifications.
As part of its ongoing attempt to modernize its military, the Russian military began supplying foot warmers — much like those used by sports fans attending outdoor events in cold weather — in 2014 to troops in the Donbas.
This was a continuation of the modernization of footwear started in 2007, when the Russian defense ministry ordered socks and lace-up army boots for soldiers. That replaced soldiers wrapping their feet in strips of cloth – flannel in the winter, cotton in the summer – then covering them with boots.
The Ukrainians have yet to issue foot warmers to troops, requiring officers to rotate their forces out of the cold every hour or so.
In the shipment of winter supplies sent by the Pentagon to the Ukraine military, there are approximately 50,000 parkas, approximately 4,700 trousers, and 39,000 fleece hats as well as more than 23,000 boots, 18,000 gloves, and 6,000 tents — but no foot warmers.
In addition to this recent U.S. commitment, eight other announced new donations of cold weather gear at the most recent Ukraine Defense Contact Group on October 12. This includes a Canadian commitment of hats, gloves, boots, and parkas valued at $15 million, the Pentagon said.
Again, no foot warmers.
Not threatened by the extreme cold is Ukraine’s Cold War-vintage arsenal, a testimony to the rugged reliability of old Soviet and Russia weapons. And Ukrainians know how to use them.
As Brig Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon spokesperson, wryly noted at a recent briefing: “I will highlight that, in some cases, you know, the Russians themselves have contributed a significant number of tanks to the Ukrainian military.”