The suspension of hostilities in the Russian military operation in Ukraine due to winter may last up to six months, according to The New York Times.
Rain and soft soil in late November will slow down the movement of both Ukrainian and Russian troops. Possible heavy snowfall and cold weather could also slow down operations on the battlefield, the newspaper said.
"You're already seeing the sloppy weather in Ukraine slow things down a little bit. It's getting really muddy, which makes it hard to do large-scale offensives," US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Meanwhile, the conflict is expected to enter a new phase due to a forced pause in the movement of troops, the report said. The Russian military will focus on strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure.
In turn, the Ukrainian troops, as noted by Seth Jones, vice president at the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, are going to press forward with subversion attacks on Russian lines.
A US official, cited by the news outlet, said it is important for Washington to take advantage of the winter halt to increase arms supply to Kyiv.
This comes days after reports emerged that the Biden administration is "privately" encouraging Kyiv to demonstrate a readiness to negotiate with Russia, The Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.
Mediation began at the end of February this year after the start of the war in Ukraine. The last round of the negotiations concluded in Istanbul on March 29. The talks have since stalled despite efforts by the United Nations.
As per the newspaper, the US does not want Ukraine to start negotiations with Russia, but, instead, aims to ensure that Kyiv has the support of other countries. "Ukraine fatigue is a real thing for some of our partners," one US official told The Washington Post.
Concerns are mounting in parts of Europe, Africa, and Latin America, as food and fuel prices are rising amid Russia's ongoing special operation in Ukraine.
Earlier in September, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was still open to talks with Kyiv and called on Ukraine to stop the hostilities. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in turn, said that Kyiv was ready for dialogue with Moscow, but only if another president came to power in Russia.
The Kremlin responded that Moscow would wait for a change in the stance of Ukraine's current president or his successor.