US intel agencies chief says ‘optimistic’ for Ukraine military

The head of a US intel agencies says the fight in Russia’s war in Ukraine is proceeding at a “decreasing pace” and suggests Ukrainian forces may have bright prospects in the coming months.
Avril Haynes alludes to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s past grievances PetniIts advisers could shield him from bad news  for Russia  about the war’s progress, and said he was “becoming more aware of the challenges facing the military in Russia.”
“But it’s still not clear to us that he has a full picture at this stage of how challenging they are,” the  director of US intel agencies said late Saturday at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.
US intel agencies
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Looking ahead, Haynes said, “Frankly we’re already       seeing a kind of de-escalation of the conflict” and his     team expects both sides to reorganize, resupply and   reorganize for a possible Ukrainian count eroffensive in   the spring.
“But we have considerable skepticism about whether     the Russians would actually be prepared to do that,” he   said. “And I feel more optimistic for Ukrainians in that   timeframe.”
On Sunday, the British Ministry of Defense, in its latest   intelligence estimate, pointed to new signs from an   independent Russian media outlet that public support   in Russia for military action is “declining significantly”.
Meduza said it received a recent confidential opinion   survey conducted by the Federal Security Service,   which  is tasked with guarding the Kremlin and   providing security for top government officials.
The poll, conducted by the Kremlin, found that 55% of     respondents supported peace talks with Ukraine an 25%
wanted the war to continue. The report does not specify a margin of error.
A similar poll conducted by the Levada Center, Russia’s top independent pollster, in November found that 53% of respondents supported peace talks, 41% favored continuing the fighting and 6% were undecided. That poll of 1,600 people had a margin of error of no more than 3.4 percent.
The British Ministry of Defense noted that “despite efforts by the Russian authorities to enforce comprehensive control of the information environment, the conflict has become increasingly apparent to many Russians since the ‘partial mobilization’ of September 2022.”
“Unlike Russia is likely to achieve major breakthroughs on the battlefield in the coming months, it may be increasingly difficult for the Kremlin to maintain even absolute approval of war among the population,” it said.
In recent weeks, Russia’s military focus has been on striking Ukrainian infrastructure and an offensive push eastward near the city of Bakhmut, while the city has been shelled. Khersonwhich Ukrainian forces liberated last month after eight months of Russian occupation.
In his speech on Saturday, the President of Ukraine said Volodymyr Zelensky Russia’s vital oil industry, a key source of funding for Putin’s war machine, has lashed out at Western efforts to prop up Russia’s vital oil industry, saying their $60-a-barrel price cap on Russian oil imports was insufficient.
“Setting such a limit for Russian prices is not a serious decision, which is quite comfortable for the budget of the terrorist state.” Zelensky said, referring to Russia. He said the $60-per-barrel level would still allow Russia to bring in $100 billion in revenue per year.
“This money will not only go to war and further Russian sponsorship of other terrorist regimes and organizations. This money will be used to further destabilize countries that are now trying to avoid serious decisions,” Zelensky said.
Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, the United States and the 27-nation European Union agreed on Friday that they would set a price of $60 a barrel for Russian oil. The limits will come into effect on Monday, along with EU sanctions on Russian oil shipped by sea.
Russian authorities rejected the price cap and on Saturday threatened to cut off supplies to countries that supported it.
In another show of Western support for Ukraine’s efforts to resist Russian forces and deal with the aftermath of the war, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland visited the operations of an aid group in Ukraine on Saturday that provides aid to internally displaced people. in Ukraine among his other visits with top Ukrainian officials.
Nuland made puppets from yarn in the blue-yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag with young people from regions including northeastern Kharkiv, southern Kherson and eastern Donetsk.
“It’s psychological support for them at a very important time,” Nuland said.
“As President Putin knows very well, this war can stop today, if he wants to stop it and withdraw his forces – and then negotiations can begin,” Read more

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