putin is wrong if he thinks he can win war of attrition in Ukraine, CIA director says
russian president vladimir putin is mistaken if he thinks he can win a war of attrition in Ukraine
Head of the CIA William Burns stated this, covering a range of topics at a security forum in Aspen, Colorado, sky.news reports.
As the publication notes, Burns believes that the russian president would be wrong to think he can win a bloody war of attrition against Ukraine.
He had previously been proven wrong in believing that his troops could capture Kyiv within the first days of the invasion. Burns says the aggressor country's president miscalculated his initial invasion plans, failing to capture Kyiv with a lightning strike.
The CIA director predicted that the Kremlin would grind on with a war of attrition, believing that the West's will to support Ukraine would falter. The head of the CIA also emphasized that putin would be proven wrong again:
"He insists that Ukraine is not a real country, but real countries fight back."
Mr. Burns was asked if he thought putin was unstable and unhealthy.
"As far as we can tell, he's probably too healthy," Mr. Burns said, before quipping that this was an "informal intelligence judgment," denying rumors about the russian president's serious illness, such as cancer.
The CIA chief, a former US ambassador to Moscow, has watched and dealt with putin for over two decades. He said the president believed his destiny was to restore Russia as a great power. The key to this was control of Ukraine.
Burns said that the latest US intelligence estimates of russian casualties from the invasion put it at about 15,000 russian invaders killed and nearly three times as many wounded.
At the same time, he said that Ukrainian losses were also steep, "probably a little less" than the russian figures.
In addition, he said, the risk of Chinese troops invading Taiwan this decade will increase, and we should not underestimate Chinese President Xi Jinping's determination to establish control over the territory.
President Joe Biden is expected to speak with the Chinese president in the coming days amid rising tensions between the two countries, particularly over the fate of Taiwan. The US leader has said America would intervene militarily if China attacks Taiwan.
CIA chief added that China's political and military leaders seemed "unsettled to some extent" about how russia's attack on Ukraine had gone, especially during the first weeks.
russia's stuttering military performance, the impact of the war on the world economy, and putin's actions have driven European allies closer together with the US.
But China is trying to learn from russia's invasion with a view to its plans for Taiwan. Beijing would also need to shape global opinion in favor of any offensive, protect its economy from the impact of sanctions and try to fracture relations between the US and countries in the Indo-Pacific region.