Ukraine: Current pace of fighting likely to continue in coming months, US says

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by David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence expects the current pace of fighting in Ukraine, which has slowed sharply, to continue in the coming months, and sees no signs of a weakening in Ukrainian resolve to resist, the director of US national intelligence said on Saturday.

“We are already seeing some slowdown in the conflict and expect that to continue in the coming months,” April Haines told the annual Reagan National Defense forum.

According to her, both the Ukrainians and the Russians should seek to prepare for a new counter-offensive after the winter, by renewing their equipment and restocking.

“We are quite skeptical about how ready the Russians will be. I am more optimistic for the Ukrainians.”

April Haines said Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure were partly aimed at undermining Ukrainians’ resolve to resist, adding: “We see no evidence that (their resolve) is being undermined at this time.”

According to the director of national intelligence, the political objectives pursued by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine do not appear to have changed, but members of American intelligence believe that he may be willing to revise his military objectives downward in the short term ” temporarily, with the idea that he could reconsider this decision later”.

(With the contribution of Eric Beech; French version Camille Raynaud)

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