Vladimir Putin’s bloody and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is already a failure, the CIA chief said yesterday, even as a Ukrainian counter-offensive rips through Russian lines in the east.
Director William Burns said Putin initially made a mistake by underestimating Ukraine’s will and ability to resist his invasion, and he continues to kill the West’s determination to support Kiev and wage an economic war against Russia. underestimate.
As a result, Putin has revealed that Russia — once considered the second-largest military power in the world after the US — is a paper tiger whose economy will take decades to recover from the damage done by sanctions.
“Putin’s bet at the moment is that he will be tougher than the Ukrainians, the Europeans, the Americans … I believe, and my colleagues at the CIA believe that Putin is as wrong on that bet as he is profoundly wrong.” had in his assumptions. back to last February on the Ukrainian will to resist,’ de New York Times Burns reports at a conference in Washington.
“Not only has the weakness of the Russian military been exposed … but long-term damage will be done to the Russian economy and generations of Russians,” he said.
While the war is still going on and the final victory shape has yet to be seen, Mr. Burns said it was “hard to see Putin’s war record as anything but a failure.”
CIA Director William Burns said it was ‘hard to see Putin’s record in the war as anything but a failure’
Putin had initially made a mistake by underestimating Ukraine’s will and ability to resist his invasion, and he continues to fatally undermine the West’s determination to support Kiev and wage an economic war against Russia, the CIA said. -director.
Left: Ukrainian soldiers – reportedly from the Kraken Special Branch – pose with their weapons in front of a Ukrainian flag, standing or crouching atop a Russian flag that has been pulled down. Right: A soldier poses on the steps of what appears to be a government building. He holds his weapon in the air and beams from ear to ear. At his feet lie a Russian tricolor and red flag of the Soviet Union, both tattered, while above him is the yellow and blue of a Ukrainian flag on the building
On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces have seized the initiative after six months of crushing Russian offensives that have managed to capture 20 percent of the country’s territory at a huge cost of lives and equipment.
Despite a long-awaited counter-offensive being launched in the Kherson region in the south of the country in late August, there is some suggestion that the move was a feint.
After stressing their intent to finally launch a counter-attack, the Ukrainian High Command sucked Russian troops and armaments into an area difficult to supply across the Dnieper River, as the fixed bridges had all been knocked out by long-range missiles.
The Ukrainian army also said it has carried out new attacks on Russian pontoon bridges used to carry supplies across the Dnieper River to Kherson, one of the largest Russian-occupied cities, and the neighboring region.
This diversion to the south disguised armor built up around Kharkov east of Ukraine and launched a surprise attack to escape Russia’s thin lines, leading to the recapture of Balakliia, a city of 27,000.
Experts and observers speculate that their target is likely the city of Kup’yans’k, which spans the Oksil River and contains a major railway junction through which nearly all Russian supplies pass to Donbas.
If Ukraine can pull it off, it will leave the city of Izyum – staging point for the attack on Donbas – cut off, with troops at risk of being surrounded.
More generally, troops in the wider region will be severely short of supplies – especially artillery ammunition – they need to support their attacks.
That means Russia’s entire Donbas offensive could grind to a halt and open the door for further Ukrainian counter-attacks.
Two separate clips showed Ukrainian soldiers driving Humvees against Russian-occupied positions. One of the clips (pictured), filmed with a camera mounted on the soldier’s helmet, shows him firing a heavy machine gun from the rear of the military vehicle as it shoots toward a village at dusk
This video shows at least two tanks underwater – the Russian ‘Z’ symbol clearly marked on the side
A Russian-installed official in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region said on Friday that civilians had been evacuated from three Russian-occupied towns in the region where Ukraine has launched a surprising counter-offensive.
Vitaly Ganchev said on state television host Vladimir Solovyov’s daily live stream that civilians were being evacuated from the cities of Izium, Kupiansk and Veliky Burluk.
Ganchev said the evacuation was mainly from Kupiansk and Izium, but added: “We have now received word that Veliky Burluk is under artillery fire, so of course people were asked to move to safer settlements.”
Ganchev said he would turn to authorities in the Belgorod region of southern Russia if there were any problems with the resettlement of the evacuated people.
Kupiansk and Izium are vital logistical hubs for the Russian military in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, and both appear to be directly threatened by a dramatic Ukrainian counter-offensive that Kiev says has pushed as far as 50km (30 miles) beyond Russian lines this week. .
The US-based Institute for the Study of War predicted on Friday that Ukrainian forces would likely recapture Kupiansk within 72 hours.
Speaking to Russian state television earlier on Friday, Ganchev said Ukrainian forces had won a “major victory” in the Kharkov region, one of Russia’s first official recognitions of the counteroffensive.
Pictured: A woman hugs a soldier as she cries with joy and disbelief as Ukrainian soldiers reach her in Balakliia
In a video address, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces have “liberated dozens of settlements” and reclaimed more than 385 square miles of territory to the east and south in the past week alone.
Zelensky posted a video in which Ukrainian soldiers said they had captured the eastern city of Balakliia, which lies along a stretch of front extending south of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.
If Ukraine’s victories are confirmed and maintained, this will mean a significant defeat for Putin’s forces. Western intelligence agencies say Russia has suffered heavy losses, with Kiev estimates killing more than 50,000 Russian soldiers since the invasion began on February 24.
If Ukraine’s progress is confirmed, this number could continue to rise rapidly.
The Institute for the Study of War think tank said the Ukrainians are now within just 9 miles (15 km) of Kupiansk, a vital hub for the main rail lines that Moscow has been using for months to resupply its troops on the battlefields to the east.
But Putin’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said only “a few outlying villages” had been taken. “As far as we can judge, even the top of the Ukrainian armed forces resisted this madness,” he said. “However, the leader of Ukraine was stubborn after his conversation with his American and British colleagues.
“As a result, the bodies of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, who were sent to their deaths and prevented from returning by anti-withdrawal forces, have been scattered in fields near Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhya and in the forests near Kharkov,” he claimed.