© Reuters. Service members with the Ukrainian Military’s twenty fourth Mechanized Brigade of King Danylo hearth 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 lowered tempo in combating in Ukraine to proceed within the subsequent a number of months and sees no proof of a lowered Ukrainian will to withstand, regardless of assaults on its energy grid and different essential winter infrastructure, the Director of Nationwide Intelligence stated on Saturday.
“We’re seeing a sort of a lowered tempo already of the battle … and we count on that is more likely to be what we see within the coming months,” Avril Haines instructed the annual Reagan Nationwide Protection Discussion board in California.
She stated each the Ukrainian and Russian militaries could be seeking to attempt to refit and resupply to arrange for a counter-offensive after the winter, however there was a query as to what that might appear to be, and added:
“We even have a good quantity of skepticism as as to whether or not the Russians can be in reality ready to try 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 goal 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 seeking to have an effect on Ukraine’s capability to prosecute battle and added that Kyiv’s financial system had been struggling very badly.
“It may possibly over time, clearly, have an effect. How a lot of an affect can be depending on how a lot they go after, what they’re able to doing, the resilience of that essential infrastructure, our capability to assist them defend it.”
“Ukraine’s financial system is struggling very badly. It has been devastating, and … clearly taking down the grid will have an effect on that as effectively.”
Haines stated she thought Russian President Vladimir Putin had been stunned that his army had not completed extra.
“I do suppose he’s turning 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 collection of issues that they are dealing with.”
Haines stated Putin’s political aims in Ukraine didn’t seem to have modified, however U.S. intelligence analysts thought he could also be prepared to cut back his near-term army aims “on a brief foundation with the concept that he may then come again at this challenge 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 don’t seem to be 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 the USA had “seen some motion” in provides of munitions from North Korea, “nevertheless it’s not been quite a bit at this stage.”
She stated Iran had provided Russia with drones and Moscow was searching for different kinds of precision munitions from Tehran, one thing that might be “very regarding when it comes to their capability.”