WATCH: Pentagon says winter will add ‘complexity’ to Ukraine

As Russian airstrikes cut off water and electricity and expanded its campaign to plunge Ukraine into cold and darkness, the Pentagon predicted increasingly difficult battlefield conditions for both sides. during the winter months.

Watch the briefing in the player above.

He said the weather would be an important factor in the ongoing military operations in Ukraine.

“I think when you look at things like rain, snow, mud, the impact it has on the terrain, it will definitely add another level of complexity to an already very dynamic battlefield,” said the Pentagon spokesman Brig. General Pat Ryder.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said nearly a third of Ukraine’s power plants had been destroyed in the past week, “causing massive power cuts across the country”.

Depriving people of water, electricity and heat as winter begins to bite and the widespread use of so-called suicide drones that swoop down on targets have opened a new phase in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war .

On Tuesday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met behind closed doors Ben Wallace, his British counterpart.

EXPLANATION : How Russia is using Iranian killer drones to terrorize Ukraine

Ryder said the two were discussing how to continue to help Ukraine in its fight against Moscow.

“Our focus will continue to work with them to identify their needs, to include things like air defence. And we will work to try to get those capabilities to them as quickly as possible,” Ryder said.

The last city deprived of power was Zhytomyr, home to military bases, industries and leafy boulevards, about 140 kilometers (85 miles) west of Kyiv.

In the capital of Kyiv, missile strikes damaged two power plants and killed two people, city authorities said. The attack left 50,000 people without power for a few hours, the facility operator said.

In the past week alone, more than 100 Iranian-made self-destructing drones have rammed power plants, sewage treatment plants, residential buildings, bridges and other targets in urban areas, Ukraine’s Ministry of Human Resources said. Foreign Affairs.

In a televised address Monday night, Zelenskyy said Russia was using drones because it was losing ground in the war.

Sharon D. Cole