US Intelligence chief says officers seeing 'decreased tempo' in Russia-Ukraine battle forward of winter

Director of Nationwide Intelligence Avril Haines mentioned she sees a “decreased tempo” in relation to the battle in Ukraine and that each Russian and Ukrainian armies are settling in for the winter months to arrange for counteroffensives within the spring.

Haines advised NBC Information chief international affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell on Saturday the preventing, primarily within the japanese Ukrainian area Donetsk, has already slowed down for the winter.

“When you get previous the winter, the type of query is: What is going to the counteroffensive seem like?” Haines mentioned on the Reagan Protection Discussion board in Simi Valley, California. “We anticipate that, frankly, each militaries are gonna be in a scenario the place they’re gonna be seeking to attempt to refit, resupply, in a way, reconstitute, in order that they’re type of ready for that counteroffensive.

“However we even have a good quantity of skepticism as as to if or not the Russians will probably be, in truth, ready to do this,” she added. “And I believe most optimistically for the Ukrainians in that timeframe.”

Ukraine final month recaptured the southern metropolis of Kherson, including to an inventory of victories towards Russia on the battlefield within the nine-month battle.

However Russia nonetheless holds a swath of territory within the east, together with the Crimean peninsula and the areas of Donestk and Luhansk, the place preventing continues to interrupt out.

Whereas the preventing continues, Russian President Vladimir Putin has employed a brutal winter technique of bombarding Ukrainian power grids and civilian infrastructure to knock out energy in addition to warmth within the chilly months.

Haines on Saturday mentioned intelligence analysts haven’t seen the Ukrainian individuals lose their will amidst the onslaught of missile assaults.

“They’re doing this with a view to undermine the Ukrainian will in impact, and I believe we’re not seeing any proof of that being undermined proper now at this level,” she advised Mitchell.

Haines mentioned she believes Putin is conscious of Russia’s “lack of efficiency and the truth that they didn’t accomplish extra” however might not know “simply how challenged they’re,” together with the extent of ammunition shortages and provide management points.

Regardless of the difficulties, intelligence analysts say Putin has not modified his political aims, she added.

“The problem is, what does that imply for his close to time period [and] are they going to be as expansive as they have been initially?” she mentioned. “Or does he sooner or later acknowledge that he’s incapable of doing what it’s he supposed to initially and type of downscale what it’s that he’s prepared to just accept?”