We examine the dependence of the ice conditions for two major lakes of Asia and Europe: Baikal and Ladoga, on regional values of the arithmetic sums of mean daily winter air temperatures and global atmospheric processes expressed by atmospheric circulation indices. By ranking the winters according to the sums of mean daily winter air temperatures, it was possible to identify winters of the same type of severity for the regions of Baikal and Ladoga. The winters of the same type show an enhancement in correlations between ice characteristics with respect to the sums of winter air temperatures and atmospheric circulation indices as well as ice characteristics of the two lakes. It is shown that the interannual changers in characteristics of ice regime of Ladoga and Baikal are largely determined by the same atmospheric processes. The role of the circulation is most clearly manifested in variation of temperature regime indicators. Thus, the sums of air temperatures accumulated during a winter in the regions of these lakes show primarily the closest correlation with the Arctic and North Atlantic oscillation indices.Keywords: ice regime of lakes, atmospheric circulation indices, type of winter severity, climate change.