© Reuters. Service members with the Ukrainian Military’s twenty fourth Mechanized Brigade of King Danylo fireplace an artillery piece, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, close to Bakhmut in Ukraine, December 3, 2022. REUTERS/ Leah Millis
By David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence expects the diminished tempo in combating in Ukraine to proceed within the subsequent a number of months and sees no proof of a diminished Ukrainian will to withstand, regardless of assaults on its energy grid and different important winter infrastructure, the Director of Nationwide Intelligence stated on Saturday.
“We’re seeing a sort of a diminished tempo already of the battle … and we anticipate that is more likely to be what we see within the coming months,” Avril Haines advised the annual Reagan Nationwide Protection Discussion board in California.
She stated each the Ukrainian and Russian militaries could be trying to attempt to refit and resupply to arrange for a counter-offensive after the winter, however there was a query as to what that will seem like, and added:
“We even have a good quantity of skepticism as as to if or not the Russians shall be in actual fact ready to do this. I feel extra optimistically for the Ukrainians in that timeframe.”
Requested concerning the results of Russian assaults on Ukraine’s energy grid and different civilian infrastructure, Haines stated Moscow’s purpose was partly to undermine the desire of Ukrainians to withstand, and added: “I feel we’re not seeing any proof of that being undermined proper now at this level.”
She stated Russia was additionally trying to have an effect on Ukraine’s capability to prosecute battle and added that Kyiv’s economic system had been struggling very badly.
“It might over time, clearly, have an effect. How a lot of an influence shall be depending on how a lot they go after, what they’re able to doing, the resilience of that important infrastructure, our capability to assist them defend it.”
“Ukraine’s economic system is struggling very badly. It has been devastating, and … clearly taking down the grid will have an effect on that as properly.”
Haines stated she thought Russian President Vladimir Putin had been stunned that his army had not achieved extra.
“I do assume he’s changing into extra knowledgeable of the challenges that the army faces in Russia. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless not clear to us that he has a full image at this stage of simply how challenged they’re … we see shortages of ammunition, for morale, provide points, logistics, an entire sequence of issues that they are dealing with.”
Haines stated Putin’s political goals in Ukraine didn’t seem to have modified, however U.S. intelligence analysts thought he could also be prepared to reduce his near-term army goals “on a short lived foundation with the concept that he would possibly then come again at this difficulty at a later time.”
She stated Russia gave the impression to be utilizing up its army stockpiles “fairly rapidly.”
“It is actually fairly extraordinary, and our personal sense is that they aren’t able to indigenously producing what they’re expending at this stage,” she stated.
“That is why you see them going to different international locations successfully to attempt to get ammunition … and we have indicated that their precision munitions are operating out a lot quicker in lots of respects.”
Haines stated america had “seen some motion” in provides of munitions from North Korea, “but it surely’s not been so much at this stage.”
She stated Iran had provided Russia with drones and Moscow was on the lookout for different forms of precision munitions from Tehran, one thing that will be “very regarding by way of their capability.”