According to US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, President Vladimir Putin will not conclude the Ukraine war with the Donbas campaign and is intent to construct a land bridge to Russian-controlled territory in Moldova (May 10).
US intelligence believes it’s becoming more possible that Putin may mobilise his entire country, even declaring martial rule, and is banking on his tenacity to erode Western support for Ukraine.
“We believe President Putin is planning for a protracted struggle in Ukraine, during which he will pursue objectives beyond the Donbas,” Haines added.
After failing to seize Kyiv in the north, US intelligence believes Putin’s choice to focus Russian forces in the eastern Donbas region is “just a temporary move.”
According to Haines, Russian forces still want to gain land along the Black Sea coast, in part to safeguard water resources for Crimea, which Moscow took in 2014.