New Delhi: The United States has reason to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make the war in Ukraine “more unpredictable and escalatory” in the near future.
US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told Congress on Tuesday that Putin’s next move would be difficult to predict because he “faces a mismatch between his ambitions and Russia’s current conventional military capabilities”.
Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Russian President can resort to “more drastic means”, pushed by the situation on the ground. These measures could include “imposing martial law, reorienting industrial production, or potentially escalatory military actions”, CNN reported.
The US has a grim view of any possibility of peace talks in the near future. Haines said: “As both Russia and Ukraine believe they can continue to make progress militarily, we do not see a viable negotiating path forward, at least in the short term.”
The US House of Representatives also passed a bill Tuesday allocating an additional $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that the extra aid sends “a clear, bipartisan message to Ukraine, to Russia, and to the world that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy against Russian aggression”.
Psaki said: “The additional resources included in this bill will allow us to send more weapons, such as artillery, armored vehicles, and ammunition, to Ukraine. And they will help us replenish our stockpile and support US troops on NATO territory.”
Meanwhile, Russia continues to bombard its way to control the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. The mayor of Sloviansk city in eastern Ukraine said Wednesday that missiles struck two areas, but there were no casualties. Russian troops have been trying to breach Ukrainian defences in the north of the city, according to Ukrainian officials.
Sloviansk is key to Russia’s southward push into Donetsk, they said.
The Russian military in early April had revised its strategy away from northern Ukraine and begun to focus on the east.