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Saturday, May 25, 2024

CIA Whines About Putin’s Resolve to Continue the War in Ukraine

'[Putin] believes he can grind down the Ukrainians that he can wear down our European allies, that political fatigue will eventually set in...'

(Headline USA) As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, CIA Director William Burns said Sunday in an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “too confident” in his military’s ability to grind Ukraine into submission.

Burns, in a television interview, said the head of Russia’s intelligence services had displayed in their November meeting “a sense of cockiness and hubris” that reflected Putin’s own beliefs “that he can make time work for him, that he believes he can grind down the Ukrainians that he can wear down our European allies, that political fatigue will eventually set in.”

That conversation, in which Burns warned of the consequences if Russia were to deploy a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, was “pretty dispiriting,” Burns said.

Burns said he judged Putin as “quite determined” to continue prosecuting the war, despite the casualties, tactical shortcomings and economic and reputational damage to Russia.

“I think Putin is, right now, entirely too confident of his ability … to wear down Ukraine,” Burns told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in an interview that aired Sunday.

Burns also said Putin was underestimating U.S. resolve to support Ukraine, saying that it has been his experience that the Russian leader’s view is that Americans have “attention deficit disorder and we’ll move on to some other issue eventually.”

The comments came at a critical juncture for the war as the Biden administration is “confident that the Chinese leadership is considering” whether to provide “lethal” military equipment to Russia.

“It would be a very risky and unwise bet,” Burns said, adding that such a move could only further strain relations between the world’s two largest economics. “That’s why I hope very much that they don’t.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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