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Rainy weather could give Ukrainian military a boost in Donbas region

In Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, days of rain have soaked the ground, and this could give the Ukrainian military a leg up ahead of a planned Russian offensive, a senior Pentagon official said.

"The fact that the ground is softer will make it harder for [Russian forces] to do anything off of paved highways," the official told Agence France-Presse. The rain is expected to last for several more days, and coincides with Russia seemingly concentrating its war efforts in eastern Ukraine.

Another senior defense official told reporters on Thursday that Russia has been moving artillery units and helicopters into the northern part of Donbas, and "they're doing the things that we believe they believe they need to do to set the proper conditions for a renewed ground offensive."

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, and weather conditions affected troops in the northern part of the country; because the ground was not frozen hard enough, Russian tanks had to move in convoys on paved roads, making it easier for Ukrainian forces to use Javelin anti-tank systems against them.