KYIV, Ukraine – As the Russia-Ukraine conflict rages on through its first-month, defense officials believe the weather could be playing a role in Russian soldiers’ delayed advancements in Eastern Europe.
A senior defense official recently told FOX News that they have "picked up indications that some troops have actually suffered and been taken out of the fight because of frostbite."
Experts say frostbite occurs when the body’s survival mechanisms kick in during the extremely cold weather.
Ukraine is accustomed to having chilly weather in March, with lows that usually start out in the upper 20s and highs that only reach the mid-40s.
When winds are factored into the equation, the "feels-like temperature" makes the skin believe it is much colder, triggering frostbite in some cases.
Exposure to the wind and cold can trigger the onset of frostbite in minutes, if proper protections are not taken.
Recent weather observations for the eastern European nation show temperatures have been either around or below average but not too far off from where they should be for the time of year.
On Wednesday, wind chill values were below freezing for the entire country, meaning the frostbite was possible if exposed to the elements for an extended time.
Forecast models indicate a warm-up will get underway in the coming days that will lift temperatures to above average for an extended period before the pattern reverses and, eventually, a cold snap will work its way into the eastern part of the European continent.
Climatology data shows temperatures usually don’t start to climb out of their winter slump until April and will gradually increase through July.