CIA director briefs Zelensky on US expectations for Russia’s battlefield planning | CNN Politics


CIA Director Bill Burns briefed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv final week about US expectations for Russia’s battlefield planning within the spring, in keeping with a US official and two Ukrainian sources acquainted with the assembly.

The secret assembly is being intently monitored by US officers. potential Russian offensive in the coming months — and within the midst of a tense dispute between the US and its European allies over whether or not to ship ever extra subtle and long-range weapons to Ukraine. Western protection leaders are as a consequence of meet on Friday to debate additional arms shipments to Ukraine.

“Director Burns traveled to Kyiv where he met with Ukrainian intelligence colleagues as well as President Zelensky and reaffirmed our continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression,” the U.S. official stated in a press release.

Washington Post first reported assembly

Burns, a seasoned diplomat, has change into a trusted conversationalist in Kyiv, and final week’s journey was not his first. He made two well-known journeys to Kyiv final October and November, one among which occurred against the backdrop of a series of Russian missile strikes countrywide.

In the winter months, fierce combating occurred on the entrance strains, particularly within the space of ​​​​the town of Bakhmut, however neither aspect achieved severe strategic successes. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes, talking on the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, known as the state of affairs “not a stalemate, but a really acute conflict at this stage.”

But each side are believed to be making ready for attainable offensives within the spring, and Kyiv continues to stress the United States and its Western allies for extra help of their battle to push again in opposition to Russia. One Ukrainian supply advised CNN that Kyiv is nervous concerning the tempo of arms shipments to Ukraine – fears are rising as Republicans, a few of whom are skeptical of assist to Ukraine, have a majority within the US House of Representatives.

The Pentagon on Thursday announced a $2.5 billion security package foror Ukraine, the second largest ever declared by the US. Stryker fight automobiles and extra Bradley fight automobiles have been included for the primary time in assist.

However, the Biden administration remains at odds with Germany the query of whether or not to ship tanks to Ukraine, since German officers have stated in current days that they won’t ship their Leopard tanks to Ukraine or will enable another nation with German-made tanks in its arsenal to take action, except The US additionally doesn’t conform to ship its M1 Abrams tanks to Kyiv.

The Pentagon has been saying for a number of months that it isn’t going to do that, given the fabric prices of sustaining them.

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