10 May, 08:04 PM

Putin is preparing for a long war, according to US intelligence

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin may be gearing up for a prolonged war in Ukraine, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said during U.S. Senate hearings on May 10.

According to Haines, Russia’s short-term goals include capturing the whole of the Donbas region, encircling Ukraine’s forces, and holding a land corridor to annexed Crimea by maintaining control over the occupied areas of Kherson Oblast.

A further war aim of Putin is to advance his armies to the Russian puppet state let of Transnistria and capture Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. This, however, is unlikely to happen, short of Moscow declaring a general mobilization, Haines said.

“We assess that Putin is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine, in which he intends to achieve goals beyond Donbas,” the intelligence official said.

“We assume his strategic goals have remained unchanged; Putin may have decided to shift his focus to Donbas temporarily, to regain the initiative.”

Russia’s initial goal to achieve a quick victory in Ukraine and seize the capital was disrupted by fierce Ukrainian resistance and internal issues plaguing the Russian army, according to Haines.

She added that the next month or two will be decisive, but the Battle for Donbas won’t necessarily end the war, and Russia could still escalate the war further.

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