WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia’s setbacks and stretched sources in Ukraine present its forces are incapable of attaining President Vladimir Putin’s preliminary goals in invading the country as issues stand now, the Pentagon’s intelligence chief mentioned Friday.
“We’re coming to some extent proper now the place I feel Putin is going to have to revise what his objectives are for this operation,” Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Protection Intelligence Company, advised an intelligence and nationwide safety convention outdoors Washington. “As a result of “it’s fairly clear proper now that he’s … not going to have the ability to do what he initially meant to do.”
Putin despatched troops into neighboring Ukraine in February with what U.S. officers say was the target of unseating Ukraine’s Western-friendly authorities. Ukrainian forces drove Russian fighters from their positions round Ukraine’s capital earlier within the conflict. And Russia suffered one other main setback final week, when a Ukrainian counteroffensive forced its troops back from giant swaths of Ukraine’s northeast.
“The Russians deliberate for an occupation, not essentially an invasion, and that has set them again,” Berrier mentioned, citing Putin’s reluctance to this point to completely mobilize Russian forces to get extra manpower into the battle.
President Joe Biden and different administration officers have taken care to not name Russia’s newest retreat a Ukrainian victory or turning level within the conflict, and analysts warning it’s inconceivable to evaluate what could lie forward.
“He’s coming to a choice” level,” Berrier mentioned of Putin. “What that call might be we don’t know. However that can largely drive how lengthy this battle lasts.”
Berrier spoke at a panel with different senior officers on the intelligence neighborhood’s Intelligence and Nationwide Safety Summit at Nationwide Harbor in Maryland simply outdoors Washington.
Requested about issues that Putin may unleash weapons of mass destruction if he’s thwarted on the battlefield by U.S. and NATO-backed Ukrainian forces, CIA Deputy Director David Cohen mentioned: “I don’t suppose we must always underestimate Putin’s adherence to his unique agenda, which was to regulate Ukraine. I don’t suppose we’ve seen any motive to consider he has moved off that.”
Nor ought to the U.S. underestimate Putin’s “danger urge for food,” Cohen mentioned. Putin and his officers early within the conflict made allusions to Russia’s nuclear arsenal and to large retaliation in warning NATO to not get entangled within the battle.
“That being mentioned, we have now not seen concrete proof of planning for using WMD,″ Cohen mentioned. The extra seemingly type of any Russian retaliation in opposition to america can be extra makes an attempt at interfering with the U.S. political system, different safety and intelligence officers mentioned.
Individually, in a serious regional summit in Uzbekistan on Friday, Putin vowed to press the assault on Ukraine and warned that Moscow may ramp up its strikes on the nation’s infrastructure if Ukrainian forces goal amenities in Russia.
The convention included the leaders of China, India, Turkey and a number of other different international locations.
Putin mentioned the “liberation” of Ukraine’s total jap Donbas area was Russia’s fundamental army aim and that he noticed no have to revise it.