Russian President Vladimir Putin is convinced that time is on his side in the war against Ukraine, as he has enough resources to fuel his military machine.
Source: Annual Report of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, reports European Pravda citing Bloomberg
Details: The report states that while Russia is unlikely to achieve a "quality leap" in its war-making ability, Putin won't be deterred despite setbacks in the first year of the invasion. Key to his thinking is a weakening in support from allies such as the US and NATO.
"Putin is playing for time, believing that Ukraine and the West will wear out before Russia," the report said. "Putin thinks he can 'bomb' Ukraine to the negotiating table."
Putin's government shows no signs of buckling and is able to deploy the tools of "propaganda-induced imperialism", despite the fact that Russian military planners were caught off guard by Ukraine's ability to defend itself and the scope of US and European Union sanctions, the report says.
Russia's elite is increasingly concerned that Putin "has gone mad, but most of them lack the courage to take real steps toward change," indicated the report.
The document separately considers a potential post-Putin Russia. As noted, there is no significant group that shares democratic values, while "radical" factions, including Yevgeny Prigozhin and Ramzan Kadyrov, are fighting for power.
Estonian spies referred to the authoritarian regime under Putin as a Soviet Union 2.0, with "no new Gorbachev, not to mention Yeltsin, on the horizon".
Estonian intelligence is concerned that the invasion has heightened the risk of a military conflict in the Baltic States, with further mobilisations and a planned large-scale Russian military drills later this year expected to escalate the tension on NATO's eastern flank.
Seeing the Baltics as the most vulnerable region in NATO, Russia is "highly likely" to prioritise rebuilding its military near Estonia, which could take up to four years.
Kaupo Rosin, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Estonia, stated that if Ukraine loses the war, its resources will be taken and turned against the West.
James Cleverly, UK's Secretary of State, said that providing Ukraine with all the necessary means to win the war with Russia is in fact the only way to peace.
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