The CIA assesses that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not serious about negotiations at this stage” of the war in Ukraine and it is “Ukrainian progress on the battlefield that is most likely to shape prospects for diplomacy” to end the ongoing conflict, CIA Director Bill Burns said on Tuesday, Report informs, citing CNN.
Speaking publicly for the first time, at Rice University, since leaked classified US military documents appeared online, Burns stressed the importance of Ukraine’s planned offensive, saying “a great deal is at stake in the coming months.”
“Instead of backing down, he has doubled down,” Burns said about Putin, adding the Russian president believes he can grind down Ukraine and the West.
“Real countries fight back,” Burns said on Tuesday, adding that Ukraine and its president have done just that. “Putin was profoundly mistaken” in his assumptions about Ukraine before the war, Burns added.