Hardly any impact – US secret services: Putin plays in Ukraine for time

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US intelligence agencies believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing time in the war against Ukraine. No major territorial gains are expected in the near future, but the risk of escalation is high.

“Putin most likely speculates that time is working in his favor and that prolonging the war, including possible lulls in the fighting, could be his best remaining path to ultimately securing Russia’s strategic interests in Ukraine — even if it takes years. .”, US intelligence agency. coordinator Avril Haines said at a Senate hearing in Washington.

Military targets increasingly modest
It is not expected that the Russian army will recover enough this year “to make bigger territorial gains”, but the Kremlin chief now probably has a better understanding of the limits of what his army can achieve, so he is targeting more modest military focus on targets for the time being.

Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin, however, most likely assumes that time is on his side. Therefore, he was able to prolong the war in order to secure “Russia’s strategic interests in Ukraine”. According to Haines, there may also be “potential lulls” during the conflict.

High losses, hardly any territorial gains
A striking example of the Russian army’s lack of penetration power is the battle for the city of Bakhmut. Russian troops have been trying to conquer the area for about nine months – and have suffered huge losses themselves. But even the imminent conquest is likely to only change a little on the front line.

The fortifications west of Bakhmut, including the towns of Konstantinivka, Kramatorsk and Slaviansk, could withstand a Russian advance for at least several more months. Kramatorsk is about three times the size of Bakhmut and used to be the headquarters of the Ukrainian armed forces in Donbass.

Putin avoids conflict with NATO
According to US estimates, Russia does not want a direct confrontation with the US or NATO – but the risk cannot be completely ruled out, US broadcaster CNN reports based on a document from US intelligence. However, so far the Russian leadership has not taken any measures that would extend the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders, the report said.

Source: Krone

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