“No way of negotiation in sight”
USA: Donbass for Russia one step
May 10, 2022, 5:10 p.m.
US intelligence does not believe that Russia’s war in Ukraine is focused solely on Donbass. That is why success there for Moscow would not mean the end of hostilities. On the contrary, leader Putin continues to count on dwindling aid from the West.
According to US intelligence agencies, a possible Russian success in the Donbass would probably not mean the end of Russia’s war against Ukraine. “We assume that Putin’s strategic goals probably haven’t changed,” US intelligence coordinator Avril Haines told a Senate hearing in Washington. The relocation of the Russian armed forces to the Donbass is probably only temporary. Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for a protracted conflict in Ukraine, in which he still intends to pursue goals beyond eastern Ukraine, she said.
Haines also warned of an escalation of the conflict. The uncertainty of the struggle, which is turning into a war of attrition, combined with the mismatch between Putin’s ambitions and Russia’s military capabilities, means an “unpredictable and potentially escalating course” in the months ahead. “The current trend increases the likelihood that President Putin will turn to more drastic measures, including the imposition of martial law, the redirection of industrial production or the potential escalation of military options,” she said. before the Armed Services Committee.
“With Russia and Ukraine confident that they can advance militarily, we see no viable avenue for negotiation, at least in the short term,” Haines said. Putin also expects Russia to have more power than the West and Ukraine, said Haines, who coordinates the work of 18 U.S. intelligence agencies. “Putin most likely believes that Russia has greater capacity and willpower than its adversaries in the face of climate challenges. And he is likely counting on US and EU resolve to falter as food shortages, inflation and energy prices are getting worse.”
Haines stressed that the United States still believes that Moscow will continue to use “nuclear rhetoric” to prevent the United States and the West from increasing their support for Ukraine. “We continue to believe that President Putin would probably only authorize the use of nuclear weapons if he perceived an existential threat to the Russian state or regime,” Haines said.
The United States and EU countries support Ukraine in the war with large arms deliveries. Russia attacked the neighboring country on February 24. Fighting is now concentrated in southern and eastern Ukraine.