Putin is ratcheting up a long fight in Ukraine, according to US intelligence.
According to US intelligence, Vladimir Putin is preparing for a long war in Ukraine, with victory in the east potentially not ending the conflict. The warning comes as fighting in the east rages on, with Russia attempting to seize territory. After Ukraine resisted attempts to take its capital, Kyiv, Moscow refocused its troops on capturing the Donbas region. Despite this, its forces are still at a standstill, according to US intelligence.
The director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, told a US Senate committee hearing on Tuesday that Mr Putin still intends to "achieve goals beyond the Donbas," but that he "faces a mismatch between his ambitions and Russia's current conventional military capabilities."
She went on to say that the Russian president was "probably" hoping that as inflation, food shortages, and energy prices worsened, US and EU support for Ukraine would dwindle.
However, if the war continues, Mr Putin may resort to "more drastic measures," though Moscow would only use nuclear weapons if it perceived a "existential threat" to Russia.
At the same hearing, Defence Intelligence Agency Director Scott Berrier stated that Russia and Ukraine were "at a bit of a stalemate."
Ukraine claims to have retaken four settlements in the north-eastern Kharkiv region in the most recent fighting.
Cherkasy Tyshky, Ruski Tyshky, Rubizhne, and Bayrak were all recaptured from Russia, according to Ukraine's armed forces.
Ukrainian victories, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, are gradually pushing Russian forces out of Kharkiv, which has been bombarded since the war began.
However, he stated that Ukrainians "should not create an environment of excessive moral pressure, in which victories are expected weekly, if not daily."