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CIA Director William Burns warns of ‘ugly next few weeks’ unfolding in Ukraine

CIA Director William Burns warns of 'ugly next few weeks' unfolding in Ukraine.

Top US intelligence official William Burns on Tuesday warned of an "ugly next few weeks" in Ukraine amid ongoing Russian military operations.

Testifying at an annual global threat hearing before the House Intelligence Committee about Russia's military operation in Ukraine launched on February 24, CIA Director William J Burns said that 2000-4000 Russian troops were killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the war. Burns warned of "ugly next few weeks" in Ukraine. He said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely "angry and frustrated" and "has no sustainable political end game".

"Putin is determined to dominate and control Ukraine to shape its orientation. This is a matter of deep personal conviction for him, he has been doing it in a combustible combination of grievance and ambition for many years. That conviction matter more than ever in the Russian system created by him that narrowed and the COVID pandemic have made it even narrower," added the top official.

Also read:  Russia declares key war objective—neutrality and not division of Ukraine

As per Burns, Putin went to war on the basis of the number of assumptions that has made him believe that he faces, Russia faces, a favourable landscape for the use of force against Ukraine.

"First, Ukraine was weak and easily intimated. Second, Europeans, especially the French and Germans were distracted by elections in France and leadership succession in Germany. Third, he believed that he has sanctioned-proof his economy in a sense of creating a large war-chest of foreign currency reserves and fourth he was confident he has modernized his military and they were capable of a quick, decisive victory at minimal cost," added Burns.

"He has been proven wrong. Instead of seizing Kyiv within the first two days of the campaign, which is what his plan was premised upon, the Russians still have not been able to fully encircle Ukraine's capital city," the CIA Director said.

A 40-mile convoy of Russian armoured vehicles, tanks and towed artillery has been stalled for days on the outskirts of Kyiv. Russia's military performance, Burns said, has been "largely ineffective."

Also read:  Russia declares key war objective—neutrality and not division of Ukraine

Meanwhile, US intelligence chiefs say the threat of nuclear weapons is 'increasing', reported Al Arabiya.

The Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the House Intelligence Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin could escalate his assault in Ukraine and that he was unlikely to be deterred.

She also repeated previous comments by US officials that Russia was facing significant military shortcomings and experiencing more resistance from Ukrainians than they had expected, reported Al Arabiya.

Tuesday's hearing was to discuss current worldwide threats that the US and its allies face.