by David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina
WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. intelligence community 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 of Ukrainian resolve, the director of U.S. National said. intelligence on Saturday.
“We are already seeing some deceleration in the conflict and we 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 try to prepare for a new counter-offensive after the winter by renewing their equipment and rebuilding stocks.
“We’re quite skeptical about how ready the Russians will be. I’m more optimistic for the Ukrainians.”
April Haines said the Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure were partly aimed at undermining Ukrainians’ will to resist, adding: “We see no evidence that (their resolve) is being undermined at this point.”
According to the director of national intelligence, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political goals in Ukraine do not appear to have changed, but members of the US intelligence community believe he may be willing to downgrade his short-term military goals “temporarily with the idea that he could reconsider this decision later.” (With contributions from Eric Beech; French version by Camille Raynaud)