A protracted military conflict is the most likely of three possible scenarios, says intelligence chief Avril Haines
Hostilities in Ukraine will most likely continue for the foreseeable future unless Ukrainian forces collapse and Russia achieves its objectives, a US intelligence assessment said on Wednesday. A peaceful resolution is currently impossible, US officials believe.
The grim prediction was made by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines during a discussion in Washington hosted by tech giant Google. In her first public remarks on Ukraine since May, she said US intelligence had considered three possible scenarios for the conflict in Ukraine.
The most likely is a bitter war in which Russia makes “incremental gains, no breakthrough.” Another scenario involves Russia succeeding in crushing “one of [Ukraine’s] the most capable and best equipped forces” to the east, leading to “a collapse of the Ukrainian resistance”. The third possibility involves Ukraine managing to stabilize the front line and possibly making minor gains in the Kherson region, which is currently dominated by Russian forces.
“We also don’t see, to be clear, an opportunity for the two sides to come to a peaceful agreement,” he added. she says.
Haines said his agency continues to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to capture “most of Ukraine”, but added that the country’s forces have been degraded by four months of fighting in Ukraine.
“We perceive a disconnect between Putin’s short-term military goals in this area and the capability of his army, a kind of disconnect between his ambitions and what the army is capable of achieving,” he added. . she says.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly told G7 leaders earlier this week that he wanted an end to hostilities with Russia before the end of the year. He called on Western powers to step up arms deliveries to his country, according to European government sources familiar with his private video link address.
Ukrainian officials say foreign weapons are needed to fight Russia, but their country would not surrender even if none were sent. Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told German media this month that Ukrainian soldiers “fight with shovels” if they must.
Russian leaders have refused to set a timetable for the operation in Ukraine and have repeatedly asserted that it is going according to plan and will eventually achieve all of its objectives. Moscow described its goals as ensuring its security and that of the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, which it recognized as sovereign states days before launching the offensive.
Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, citing kyiv’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, which aimed to give the Donetsk and Lugansk regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that kyiv’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to save time and “to create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbas republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked.
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