Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is planning to further up his efforts in Ukraine despite his army’s failing offensive, according to CIA Director William Burns told the Financial Times.
“I think he’s convinced right now that doubling down still will enable him to make progress,” Burns stated.
According to Burns, the Russian president is in “a frame of mind in which he doesn’t believe he can afford to lose”.
He also said Putin has already “staked a lot” on the second phase of the assault, which has seen Russia refocus its combat operations on the country’s south and east.
The “biggest mistake” that Putin made throughout the war, as per Burns, was to “underestimate the Ukrainians.”
According to Burns, the President of Russia is now seeking “to adapt some of the lessons from the failures of the first phase”.
Speaking about the potential use of nuclear weapons by Russia, the CIA Director stated “we don’t see, as an intelligence community, practical evidence at this point of Russian planning for deployment or even potential use of tactical nuclear weapons”. Although, he mentioned that “we can’t take lightly those possibilities.”