CIA Director, William Burnssaid on Sunday that the Russian president, Vladimir Putinis too confident in its military capacity to bring Ukraine to its knees.
In a television interview, He claimed that Putin underestimated the determination of the United States to support Ukraine. “He believes that we have attention deficit and that in the end we will move on to another matter,” he ironized.
He said the head of Russia’s intelligence services had shown at their meeting last November “a sense of arrogance” that reflected Putin’s own beliefs that “he can make time work for him, that he believes that he can crush 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 deployed a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, was “quite daunting,” Burns said.
Burns said he judged Putin “pretty determined” to go ahead with the war, despite casualties, tactical shortcomings and reputational and economic damage to Russia. “I think Putin is, right now, too confident in his ability…to wear down Ukraine”Burns told “Face the Nation” from the CBS in an interview broadcast on Sunday. But he warned that “at some point, you’re going to have to deal with rising costs, like this, on coffins coming home to some of the poorer parts of Russia,” saying many of the recruits “are being thrown around like cannon fodder.”
The comments came at a critical time for the war, as the Biden administration is “sure that Chinese leaders are considering” the possibility of providing “lethal” military equipment to Russia.
“It would be a very risky and reckless bet,” Burns said, adding that such a move could only further strain relations between the world’s two largest economies: “So I hope with all my heart that they don’t.”
Burns said that China’s leaderXi Jinping has closely watched how the war has evolved and “I think, in many ways, he has been disturbed and sobered by what he has seen.” The CIA director spoke of “Where has Putin’s arrogance led Russia now”and said that in In authoritarian systems, when “no one challenges” a leader, “blunders can be made.”
Meanwhile, the question of military aid and the pace of the war is also a source of uncertainty in the United States, as Republican lawmakers criticized the administration for not sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, claimed that the United States was providing Ukraine with the necessary military aid to recapture territory seized by Russia. The domestic politics of support for Ukraine is also being complicated by some GOP congressmen who say the administration should backtrack and focus more on domestic needs.
The representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, said long-range artillery and planes could help end the war in a shorter time frame. “This is all taking too long,” McCaul said. “And it really didn’t have to happen this way,” said McCaul, a Texas Republican.
Ukraine won the support of the Baltic countries and Poland last month in its bid to obtain Western fighter jets, but there has been no sign that countries like the United States and Britain will change their stance of refusing to provide warplanes to Kiev.
Biden said in an interview with ABC News on Friday that he “rules it out for now,” stating that they are not the weaponry the Ukrainians need in the short term.
(With information from AP)
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