UNITED STATES: US intelligence agencies believe that the combat in Ukraine will continue to wane through the upcoming winter despite Moscow’s catastrophic attacks on the Ukrainian electrical grid.
However, the US head of intelligence, Avril Haines, said there was no indication of the Ukrainian forces’ resistance weakening.
“We’re witnessing a type of slowed tempo of the conflict already… and we believe that’s likely to be what we see in the coming months,” Haines said at the yearly Reagan National Defense Forum in California.
Although Ukraine’s combat has lasted nine months, Russia has lost more than half of the area it had taken.
Currently, the most fighting is around the Bakhmut and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine, Haines told a defense forum in California.
She asserted that fighting had subsided after Russia withdrew its troops from the western part of the Kherson region last month.
She claimed that after the winter, the forces of Russia and Ukraine would both be looking to get ready for any counter-offensive. However, she added, “We aren’t entirely confident that the Russians will be willing to do that.”
“I have more optimism for the Ukrainians in that time range,” the speaker said.
Putin unaware of the military problems
As per Haines, US intelligence believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is unaware of the entire extent of his military’s difficulties.
“We see ammo shortages, low morale, supply problems, logistics, and a whole number of difficulties they’re confronting,” said Haines.
Victoria Nuland, the US undersecretary for political affairs, met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other top Ukrainian officials while she was in Kyiv on Saturday. She said that Putin was not serious about peace negotiations.
On Saturday, Zelensky called a price cap imposed on Russian oil exports by his Western friends weak and said it would not harm the Russian economy since it was not serious enough.
The cap, scheduled to go into effect on Monday, is designed to stop countries from paying more than $60 (£48) for a barrel of Russian crude oil transported by sea.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, said that although Moscow had planned for the action, it would not sell its oil under the limit.
The world’s major oil producers are anticipated to adhere to their oil output targets at a virtual conference on Sunday.
The Opec+ group, which includes nations like Russia and the United Arab Emirates, decided to cut output by two million barrels per day beginning in November to support higher oil prices during their most recent ministerial meeting in October.
The action infuriated the US and other Western countries, with Washington accusing the group of backing Russia.
Due to sluggish global growth and rising interest rates, oil prices have fallen since October. Sources within Opec said that the group would probably consent to a policy rollover.
The government of Kyiv is reportedly applying penalties against 10 top members of the Orthodox Church whom it claims were complicit in Russia’s invasion, as stated by the security agency of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government’s most recent action against religious organizations deemed potentially subversive is the imposition of sanctions, which will freeze their assets for five years.
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