Russian troops face freezing to death in their tanks as -20C weather grips Ukraine

9 March 2022, 10:31 | Updated: 9 March 2022, 15:14

Russians face freezing in their tanks as the weather takes a huge plunge
Russians face freezing in their tanks as the weather takes a huge plunge. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Russian tanks could effectively become armoured "fridges", freezing the troops inside as they face feeling -20C cold.

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They could even give up the fight and surrender instead of wait in their vehicles to die, a security expert has said.

The invasion is thought to have moved much slower than the Kremlin expected and huge columns of Russian forces have been seen amid reports of logistics issues.

Among them is a massive convoy north of Kyiv that looks to be setting up an encirclement of the capital – possibly while waiting for other units to get to the city.

Glen Grant, a defence expert at the Baltic Security Foundation, which promotes security in the region, said the weather - that could feel as cold as -20C – could seriously affect the Russian tankers.

He told Newsweek: “A metal tank is just a fridge at night if you are not running the engine. "The cold weather is going to demoralise troops even further and will create even more refrigerators," he told Newsweek.

"The boys won't wait. They will get out, start walking to the forest, and give themselves up," he said.

"You just can't sit around and wait because if you are in the vehicle you are waiting to be killed. They are not stupid."

His comments come as six new 'humanitarian corridors' were announced on Wednesday to allow civilians to flee cities under attack from Russian forces.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said there would be a 12-hour ceasefire in six areas, including from the besieged southern port city of Mariupol.

The ceasefire began at 9am local time, Ms Vereshchuk said in a video address - 7am in the UK.

She said Russian forces had agreed not to fire during the 12-hour window.

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But Moscow have been accused of violating several ceasefires in recent days, most recently on Tuesday.

Russian forces agreed to allow people to escape Mariupol and to let humanitarian aid in - but then planted mines along the route and shelled civilians, according to the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

However on the same day Ukraine successfully evacuated 5,000 civilians from the northeastern city of Sumy.

Whether Russia allow the most recent evacuations to take place remains to be seen.

It is also not clear where the six routes will lead to. Previous evacuation corridors offered led to Russia or its ally Belarus, and were rejected by the Ukrainian government as a result.

As well as a corridor out of Mariupol to the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhya, the evacuation routes should also allow for safe passage out of Sumy, Enerhodar, Volnovakha and Izyum.

There are also a number of towns where civilians will be evacuated to Kyiv, according to the BBC.

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Shortly after a ceasefire was agreed yesterday, the Ukraine MFA said it was violated by Russian forces.

"8 trucks + 30 buses ready to deliver humanitarian aid to Mariupol and to evac civilians to Zaporizhzhia," they said in a tweet.

"Pressure on Russia MUST step up to make it uphold its commitments."

It was not the first ceasefire they broke, with past attacks resulting in the deaths of civilians - something Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he "will not forgive".

"We will not forgive the shooting of unarmed people," he said.

"We will not forgive. Hundreds and hundreds of victims. Thousands and thousands suffering.

"And God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.

"And instead of forgiveness, there will be a day of judgement."

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Russia invaded Ukraine nearly two weeks ago.

In that time, intense fighting has raged in a number of regions and many cities have suffered repeated shell attacks - but Russia has so far failed to take the capital of Kyiv.

In it's latest intelligence update, the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: "Fighting north-west of Kyiv remains ongoing with Russian forces failing to make any significant breakthroughs.

"The cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol remain encircled by Russian forces and continue to suffer heavy Russian shelling.

"Ukrainian air defences appear to have enjoyed considerable success against Russia’s modern combat aircraft, probably preventing them achieving any degree of control of the air.

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