Putin is too confident he can grind down Ukraine, CIA director says

Because the struggle in Ukraine enters its second yr, CIA Director William Burns mentioned Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being “too assured” in his navy’s capacity to grind Ukraine into submission.

Burns, in a tv interview, mentioned the top of Russia’s intelligence providers had displayed of their November assembly “a way of cockiness and hubris” that mirrored Putin’s personal beliefs “that he could make time work for him, that he believes he can grind down the Ukrainians that he can put on down our European allies, that political fatigue will finally set in.”

That dialog, during which Burns warned of the results if Russia had been to deploy a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, was “fairly dispiriting,” Burns mentioned.

Burns mentioned he judged Putin as “fairly decided” to proceed prosecuting the struggle, regardless of the casualties, tactical shortcomings and financial and reputational harm to Russia.

“I believe Putin is, proper now, solely too assured of his capacity … to put on down Ukraine,” Burns informed CBS’ “Face the Nation” in an interview that aired Sunday. Burns mentioned that “in some unspecified time in the future, he will should resist growing prices as properly, in coffins coming dwelling to a number of the poorest elements of Russia,” the place he mentioned most of the conscripts “being thrown as cannon fodder” are from.

Burns additionally mentioned Putin was underestimating U.S. resolve to help Ukraine, saying that it has been his expertise that the Russian chief’s view is that Individuals have “consideration deficit dysfunction and we’ll transfer on to another problem finally.”

The feedback got here at a important juncture for the struggle because the Biden administration is “assured that the Chinese language management is contemplating” whether or not to offer “deadly” navy gear to Russia.

“It will be a really dangerous and unwise wager,” Burns mentioned, including that such a transfer might solely additional pressure relations between the world’s two largest economics. “That is why I hope very a lot that they do not.”

Burns mentioned China’s chief, Xi Jinping, has carefully watched how the struggle has advanced, and “I believe, in some ways, he is been unsettled and sobered by what he is seen.” The CIA director spoke of “the place Putin’s hubris has now gotten Russia,” and mentioned that in authoritarian techniques, when “no person challenges” a pacesetter, “you may make some big blunders.”

In the meantime, the query of navy assist and the tempo of the struggle can also be a supply of uncertainty within the U.S. as Republican lawmakers criticized the administration for not sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

White Home nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan mentioned the U.S. was offering Ukraine with the navy assist wanted to retake territory seized by Russia. The home politics of help for Ukraine are additionally sophisticated by some GOP members of Congress who say the administration ought to pull again and focus extra on the wants at dwelling.

Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the Home Overseas Relations Committee, mentioned planes and long-range artillery might assist finish the struggle on a sooner timeline. “This complete factor is taking too lengthy,” McCaul mentioned. “And it actually did not should occur this manner,” mentioned McCaul, R-Texas.

Ukraine received help final month from Baltic nations and Poland in its quest to acquire Western fighter jets, however there have been no indicators that nations such because the U.S. and Britain will change their stance of refusing to offer warplanes to Kyiv.

Biden mentioned in an ABC Information interview on Friday that he is “ruling it out for now,” saying that they don’t seem to be the weaponry that Ukrainians want within the close to time period.

However Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, mentioned the White Home has been sluggish in offering what Ukraine seeks, together with jets. “That has been a sample with this administration from the start, the place they’ve slow-rolled important navy weapons techniques,” he mentioned.

Jake Sullivan mentioned the U.S. is already offering elements to maintain Ukraine’s fleet of Soviet-era jets flying, however supplying F-16s “is known as a query for one more day, for one more section” of the struggle.

Jake Sullivan appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CNN’s “State of the Union” and ABC’s “This Week.” McCaul was on ABC and Dan Sullivan was on NBC.

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