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US intel chief pondering ‘optimistically’ for Ukraine forces

US intel chief pondering 'optimistically' for Ukraine forces


KYIV, Ukraine — The top of U.S. intelligence says combating in Russia’s conflict in Ukraine is operating at a “lowered tempo” and suggests Ukrainian forces may have brighter prospects in coming months.

Avril Haines alluded to previous allegations by some that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisers could possibly be shielding him from unhealthy information — for Russia — about conflict developments, and stated he “is changing into extra knowledgeable of the challenges that the navy faces in Russia.”

“But it surely’s nonetheless not clear to us that he has a full image of at this stage of simply how challenged they’re,” the U.S. director of nationwide intelligence stated late Saturday on the Reagan Nationwide Protection Discussion board in Simi Valley, California.

Wanting forward, Haines stated, “actually we’re seeing a type of a lowered tempo already of the battle” and her crew expects that each side will look to refit, resupply, and reconstitute for a potential Ukrainian counter-offensive within the spring.

“However we even have a good quantity of skepticism as as to whether or not the Russians shall be actually ready to do this,” she stated. “And I feel extra optimistically for the Ukrainians in that timeframe.”

In latest weeks, Russia’s navy focus has been on placing Ukrainian infrastructure and urgent an offensive within the east, close to the city of Bakhmut, whereas shelling websites within the metropolis of Kherson, which Ukrainian forces liberated final month after an 8-month Russian occupation.

In his nightly tackle on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lashed out at Western efforts to crimp Russia’s essential oil business, a key supply of funds for Putin’s conflict machine, saying their $60-per-barrel value cap on imports of Russian oil was inadequate.

“It isn’t a severe determination to set such a restrict for Russian costs, which is sort of snug for the price range of the terrorist state,” Zelenskyy stated, referring to Russia. He stated the $60-per-barrel degree would nonetheless enable Russia to usher in $100 billion in revenues per 12 months.

“This cash will go not solely to the conflict and never solely to additional sponsorship by Russia of different terrorist regimes and organisations. This cash shall be used for additional destabilisation of these nations that are actually making an attempt to keep away from severe choices,” Zelenskyy stated.

Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, the USA and the 27-nation European Union agreed Friday to cap what they’d pay for Russian oil at $60 per barrel. The restrict is ready to take impact Monday, together with an EU embargo on Russian oil shipped by sea.

Russian authorities have rejected the value cap and threatened Saturday to cease supplying the nations that endorsed it.

In yet one more present of Western help for Ukraine’s efforts to battle again Russian forces and deal with fallout from the conflict, U.S. Underneath Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland on Saturday visited the operations of a Ukrainian assist group that gives help for internally displaced individuals in Ukraine, amongst her different visits with high Ukrainian officers.

Nuland assembled dolls out of yarn within the blue-and-yellow colours of Ukraine’s flag with kids from areas together with northeastern Kharkiv, southern Kherson, and jap Donetsk.

“That is psychological help for them at a completely essential time,” Nuland stated.

“As President Putin is aware of greatest, this conflict may cease right now, if he selected to cease it and withdrew his forces — after which negotiations can start,” she added.

Service provider reported from Washington, D.C.



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