US intelligence believes that Putin may begin to escalate by redoubling his efforts
Leaders of the US intelligence community have said that Russian President Vladimir Putin may begin an escalation of the offensive in Ukraine, despite military setbacks and economic difficulties caused by international sanctions.
The Voice of America reported this.
"Our analysts believe that Putin is unlikely to be stopped by such setbacks and that he may escalate by redoubled his efforts to disarm Ukraine," said Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, at the House of Intelligence Committee's annual meeting.
According to Haines, with such high tensions, there is always the possibility of "unintentional escalation." She stated that analysts in the intelligence community did not notice changes in Russia's nuclear policy, except for those detected during the previous international crises.
"We have also not seen a change in the position of the nuclear sphere, which is beyond what we saw, especially in times of heightened tension," Haines said.
CIA Director William Burns said Putin was now angry and upset.
"I think he will probably double the stakes and try to crush the Ukrainian army without paying attention to the civilian casualties," Burns said.
He noted that the United States was actively exchanging intelligence with Ukraine.
Burns also said he and CIA analysts did not see how Putin could achieve his goal of capturing Kyiv and replacing Volodymyr Zelenskyy's government with a pro-Moscow puppet leadership.
Some analysts also point out that Putin is likely to escalate.
"Driven into a political, military, diplomatic corner, Putin is becoming more dangerous. He has no choice but to escalate, including the use of weapons that are scary to think about. The West must find a way for Putin to save himself in order to save Europe…" says expert Laurie Garrett.