Russian President Vladimir Putin is not “emotional” when it comes to the massive loss of life his forces are facing in Ukraine, and believes he can tire Ukraine and the West and ultimately win the war, said Bill Burns, the director of the CIA, on Sunday.
Burns, speaking on CBS “Face the nation” He said the United States should provide full material and intelligence support in the coming months to “break that arrogance on the part of Putin” and restore momentum on the battlefield. He said Putin is convinced he “cannot afford to lose” so he will try to prolong the war.
“Putin’s view of us Americans is that we suffer from attention deficit disorder, and we will eventually move on to another issue,” Burns said. So instead of looking for ways to back off or, you know, finding a famous slope, what Putin has done is double down on it.”
Friday marked a grim milestone: one year since Russia invaded Ukraine. During this time, the United States has pledged about $113 billion in aid to Kiev, more than half of which is in military aid, according to the Pentagon.
Amid domestic conflicts ranging from a rising cost of living to a surge in refugee arrivals, polls show Americans are becoming less eager to provide weapons to Ukraine.
The latest developments:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky marked the anniversary of Russia’s occupation of Crimea in Ukraine, tweeting: “9 years ago, Russian aggression began in Crimea. By returning Crimea, we will restore peace. This is our land. Our people. Our history. We will. Return the Ukrainian flag to the Every corner of Ukraine.
► National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, appearing on Meet the Press on NBC And in other news shows on Sunday, he said the United States is providing spare parts for Ukraine’s fleet of Soviet-era planes, but supplying the F-16s “is really a question for another day, for another phase” of the war.
Republican Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wants Sullivan and the Biden administration to answer the question now and deliver long-range missiles to Ukraine. “When we give them what they can really use and demand, they win,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told Deutschlandfunk broadcaster on Sunday that NATO could supply Ukraine with 62 German-made Leopard 2 tanks and “then we will see how the course of the war changes after that”. Ukraine requested 300 tanks.
The West wants to wipe out Russia, Putin said in an interview Sunday on state-owned television, and Russians may not survive as a distinct people if the West succeeds. Putin accused the United States and its allies of “one goal: to dissolve the former Soviet Union and its main part – the Russian Federation.”
His stance that the West conspires against Russia has been a recurring theme in Putin’s efforts to suppress anti-war dissent.
He said about the possible division of Russia into regional groupings: “There will be Muscovites, Urals and others.” He assumed that the West could only partially accept Russia into the so-called “family of civilized peoples”, dividing the country into separate parts.
Putin also said that Russia last week suspended its participation in the New START nuclear treaty not only because of US nuclear capabilities but also those of other NATO countries. He said Russia could not accept US inspections of its nuclear sites while Washington and its NATO allies sought to defeat Russia in Ukraine. But he reiterated that Moscow would not withdraw from the agreement, and his State Department said Moscow would respect the treaty’s maximum limits on nuclear weapons and would continue to notify the United States about ballistic missile tests.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an update that the lack of reports of drones launching attacks in Ukraine since mid-February likely indicates the Russians are running out of Iranian-made weapons, although they will likely order more.
The ministry said the drones were initially effective at damaging civilian infrastructure, but that Ukrainians have become more adept at shooting them down, including at least 24 between late January and early February.
“Although the weapons do not have a good record of destroying their intended targets, Russia likely sees them as useful decoys that can divert Ukrainian air defenses from Russia’s more effective cruise missiles,” the ministry said.
The Saudi ministry said that representatives of the two countries discussed “opportunities to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two friendly countries” and ways to support each other in various fields.
“Grateful to Prince Faisal bin Farhan for the constructive dialogue and mutual understanding,” Yermak said in tweets that included pictures of Yermak and the prince.
Ukraine’s military said on Sunday that Russian forces had attacked nearly two dozen towns near the city of Pakhmut in Donetsk region that have been the focus of fighting in recent weeks.
The region is still divided between Ukrainian and Russian control, while Russia has captured most of Luhansk Province. Together they make up the eastern Donbass region that has been the focus of Putin’s war.
Weeks of fierce fighting with heavy casualties barely moved the battle fronts. The owner of the Russian mercenary force Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said his fighters had advanced to a settlement on the northern edge of Bakhmut, but the Ukrainian military disputed this claim, saying that Russian forces had pushed back.
“The adversary continues to attack the positions of Ukrainian forces,” the Ukrainian military said on Thursday. Facebook. “The enemy’s attacks did not succeed.”
Saudi and Ukrainian officials said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide $400 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan led the Kingdom’s delegation to Kiev, where he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the presidential residence. The prince also met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff.
Russian Ministry of Defense Sunday claimed to be destroyed 390 Ukrainian aircraft, 211 helicopters, 3,243 drones, 405 aerial missile systems, 8,042 tanks and other armored fighting vehicles, and 1,045 combat vehicles equipped with multiple launch rocket systems since the war began a year ago. The ministry also claimed that 4,222 field artillery and mortars, as well as 8,556 units of special military vehicles, had been destroyed since the invasion began.
The ministry did not estimate the number of Ukrainian soldiers or civilians killed, nor did it announce its casualties.
Contributing: Kim Hjelmgaard USA TODAY; Associated Press
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