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CIA chief Burns explains why he believes in the Ukrainian army's counteroffensive

21 July, 2023 Friday
13:10

CIA Director William Burns said he is still optimistic about Ukraine's counteroffensive, as Russia suffers from major structural weaknesses behind its defense

Bloomberg reports.

Burns noted that the “structural weaknesses” in the system built by Russian President Vladimir Putin include low morale, poor generalship, and “disarray” among the country's political and military leadership. According to the CIA chief, some of them helped to expose the mutiny of the founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

“For a lot of Russians watching this used to this image of Putin as the arbiter of order, the question was does the emperor have no clothes or at least why does it take so long for him to get dressed,” Burns said.

He added that the consequences of the mutiny were humiliating for Putin. Thus, according to the CIA chief, the Russian president will try to avoid the impression that he is overreacting to the mutiny. At the same time, he will try to remove anything that might be valuable from Wagner's PMC. At the same time, Burns noted that Prigozhin is likely to see retribution from Putin at some point.

“Putin is the ultimate apostle of payback,” Burns said. “If I were Prigozhin, I wouldn’t fire my food taster,” said the head of the US intelligence service.

Burns emphasized that Prigozhin's mutiny was a unique opportunity for CIA recruitment in Russia. Thus, the intelligence agency recently published its first video on Telegram so that Russians would know how to contact it on the dark web. According to Burns, the video was viewed 2.5 million times in a week.

Burns also noted that he is still optimistic about Ukraine's counteroffensive

“It is going to be a tough slog, but we’re going to do everything we can as an intelligence agency to provide the kind of intelligence support and sharing that’s going to help the Ukrainians to make progress,”  the CIA chief said.

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