CIA Director William Burns said on Thursday that the next six months would be critical in the war in Ukraine, with Russian President Vladimir Putin betting that waning Western interest and "political fatigue" could afford his military a new chance at making battlefield gains.
Source: CBS News, cited by European Pravda
Quote: "Putin, I think, is betting right now that he can make time work for him. The key is going to be on the battlefield in the next six months, it seems to us."
"Puncturing Putin's hubris, making clear that he's not only not going to be able to advance further in Ukraine, but as every month goes by, he runs a greater and greater risk of losing the territory that he's illegally seized from Ukraine so far. So this next period, I think, is going to be absolutely crucial."
Details: The career diplomat and former ambassador to Russia said Western intelligence showed Moscow was not interested in peace talks, despite occasional reports to the contrary.
"We do not assess that Putin is serious about negotiations, for all that you hear sometimes about that," Burns said.
Background: The White House and CIA have denied the information, spread by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, that William Burns supposedly probed Ukraine's and Russia's readiness for negotiations about "peace in exchange for territories" and that their refusal unblocked the allies' decision on sending tanks to Ukraine.
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