Vladimir Putin still plans to invade Ukraine and annex most of it, despite international outcry. – USA

Intelligence services in the United States think that Russian President Vladimir Putin still intends to seize the majority of Ukraine.

Moscow’s forces, on the other hand, have been battered to the point that US officials believe they can only make modest territorial gains.

Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, warns the fight might go on for a long time.

Moscow shifted its emphasis to Ukraine’s Donbas region in March after failing to conquer the capitals of Kyiv and other major Ukrainian cities.

Ms. Haines, the US’s senior intelligence official, said that Putin’s ultimate objective remains the same as it was at the outset of the conflict: to seize control of the majority of Ukraine.

However, Russia, according to her, is unlikely to reach this aim in the near future.

At a seminar sponsored by the US Commerce Department, she said, “We sense a discrepancy between Putin’s near-term military aspirations in this area and his military’s capabilities.”

Since failing to take Kyiv, Russia has turned its attention to the eastern Donbas region, a vast industrial area where Mr. Putin wrongly alleges Ukraine has committed mass murder against Russian speakers.

Slow progress and fierce opposition have slowed the Russian advance in Ukraine, which just gained control of the region of Severodonetsk.

A long-standing conflict

“The picture remains fairly bleak,” said Ms. Haines in her first public remarks as Of may on the US intelligence report of the conflict, referring to Russia’s incursion.

There are three possible war scenarios, according to her, with Russia achieving “incremental victories, with no breakthrough” in the struggle.

Russia might make a huge breakthrough, or Ukraine could make tiny advances on the front lines, but both are less plausible outcomes.

It’s possible that Moscow may grow increasingly reliant on “asymmetric capabilities” like cyber strikes, energy resource control attempts, and even nuclear weapons to target its foes.

On Wednesday, Nato leaders committed to stick behind Ukraine for as long as needed, increasing their force presence throughout Europe and urging Finland and Sweden to join the organisation, prompting Ms. Haines to make her remarks.

Nato head Jens Stoltenberg termed it the alliance’s greatest makeover since the Cold War, with US President Joe Biden pledging that Nato will be “strengthened in all directions in every domain – land, air, and sea,” according to a statement.

Nato, Mr. Putin said, was purposefully inflaming tensions over the prospect of its two Nordic members joining the armed alliance.

Speaking while visiting Turkmenistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned, “If NATO soldiers and infrastructure are placed, [Russia] will be obligated to retaliate.”

Meanwhile, the UK government has agreed to contribute an additional $1 billion in military help to Ukraine, a near-doubling of the money it has already provided. Ukraine has received more military help from the United States than the United Kingdom.

At least $4.12 billion a month is needed, according to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

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