Russia’s multi-front offensive across Ukraine is facing a new challenge this week: “Marshal Mud” has entered the campaign on the side of the defenders.

Granted, the spring thaw that for centuries forced a halt to operations in Russia and Ukraine is not entirely insurmountable, particularly given modern vehicle technologies. But it adds yet another burden onto President Vladimir Putin’s top-heavy invasion force.

Deploying a massive weight of shell-hungry artillery and fuel-thirsty armor across the vastness of Ukraine, Russia's military has already suffered major logistical problems. Now, its inability to maneuver on soft ground makes it even more road-reliant and even more vulnerable to attack.

It may be no coincidence that this week has seen signs of Russian units digging in and going firm on the outskirts of Kiev – and the first major Ukrainian counterattacks retaking objectives on the capital’s suburbs.