The U.S. intelligence chief says Ukraine has better days ahead of its fight against Russian forces, and has questioned whether President Vladimir Putin fully understands the challenges his country faces in its invasion efforts.
During the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, Calif., Director of National Intelligence Avril Hines said in the past that Putin’s advisers were “getting more information about the problems the military faces in Russian,” referring to past claims that Putin’s advisers were protecting him. from the bad news before the war.
“But it’s still not clear to us at this stage that they have a full picture of how difficult they are,” Hines said.
Hines also noted that “frankly, we’re seeing somewhat of a slowdown in the conflict” as both sides will need to re-equip and re-supply in the face of a Ukrainian counter-offensive set for spring.
“But we have doubts whether the Russians are ready for it,” he said.
“And I think it’s more optimistic for Ukrainians in this time frame.”
Hines’ comments came as a top US diplomat said Putin had little interest in peace talks and that Ukraine was taking the war to a new level of “barbarism” by cutting off power to civilians.
US Undersecretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland criticized the Kremlin for targeting civilian infrastructure when she met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and other senior officials in Kiev on Saturday.
“Diplomacy is everyone’s goal, but you have to have a willing partner,” he told reporters. “And whether it’s the energy attacks, the Kremlin’s rhetoric and the general attitude, it’s clear that Putin is not sincere or ready for this.”
He also accused Putin of bringing every Ukrainian home into the conflict.
“Putin has taken this war to a new level of brutality, bringing it into every Ukrainian’s home, because he wants to turn off the lights and the water and achieve what he couldn’t achieve on the battlefield,” Nuland said.
Support for the war in Russia could plummet, according to its latest intelligence, which points to a poll by independent Russian media.
According to Meduza, a recent poll by the Federal Protection Service, which provides security for the Kremlin and other high-level government officials, found that 55 percent of respondents supported peace talks with Ukraine. About 25% still wanted to continue the war.
Last month, the Levada Center, Russia’s largest independent pollster, found that 53 percent of nearly 1,600 respondents favored peace, while 41 percent chose to continue the war.
“Despite efforts by the Russian authorities to ensure comprehensive control of the information environment, the conflict has become increasingly visible to many Russians since the ‘partial mobilization’ in September 2022,” the British Ministry of Defense said.
“With Russia unlikely to make major gains on the battlefield in the next few months, it may be difficult for the Kremlin to even tacitly approve of war among the population,” it said.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyi in his address on Saturday night called the Western countries a The price of a barrel is 60 dollars On the import of Russian oil, because Moscow is largely financing its war.
According to him, the price limit of 60 dollars will allow Russia to earn 100 billion dollars annually.
“This money is directed not only to war, but also to Russia’s sponsorship of other terrorist regimes and organizations. This money will be used to further destabilize countries that are currently trying not to make serious decisions,” Zelensky said.
On Friday, a number of countries, including the United States, agreed to limit prices, but the figure was rejected by Russian officials, who threatened to cut off supplies to countries that supported the plan.