Leaders of the U.S. intelligence community said Tuesday on Capitol Hill that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants a prolonged war in Ukraine but that it would require him to declare war and mobilize more troops, Stars and Stripes reported.
“Putin faces a mismatch between his ambitions and Russia’s current conventional military capabilities,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The next few months could see us moving along a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory.”
Putin may also think his forces can gain more ground if U.S., NATO and European Union countries become less likely to contribute to Ukraine’s forces as food shortages and inflation grow.
“The Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here,” Defense Intelligence Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier said.
Berrier also said that China is likely watching developments with the Russian military and the West’s response to determine whether it can take military action against Taiwan.
DIA image by David W. Richards