Next six months “critical” for outcome of Russo-Ukrainian war - CIA chief

Next six months “critical” for outcome of Russo-Ukrainian war - CIA chief

The United States Central Intelligence Agency assesses that the next six months will be “absolutely crucial” in determining the final outcome of the war in Ukraine, Director Bill Burns said Thursday.

That’s according to CNN, Ukrinform reports.

“I think what’s going to be the key — because we do not assess that (Russian President Vladimir Putin) is serious about negotiations — the key is going to be on the battlefield in the next six months, it seems to us,” Burns said, addressing an audience at Georgetown University.

That includes “puncturing Putin’s hubris, making clear that he’s not only not going to be able to advance further in Ukraine, but as every month goes by, he runs a greater and greater risk of losing the territory he’s illegally seized so far.”

Read also: Enemy attempting to advance in four directions, suffering heavy losses

The Russian leader, Burns said, is “betting that he can make time work for him.” Putin believes that he can “grind down” Ukraine, while political fatigue will grip Europe and the United States will become distracted, Burns said.

But the CIA director said he told one of his Russian counterparts, Sergey Naryshkin, in November that “that Russian calculation is as deeply flawed as the original decision to go to war last February 24 was.”

As Ukrinform reported earlier, referring to the U.S. media, Burns secretly visited Kyiv in January to brief the Ukrainian side about Russia's likely military plans.

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