Below: An instructor shows new members of the Territorial Defense Forces how to operate the NLAW anti-tank launcher during military exercises amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Russia’s military failures in Ukraine, combined with crippling economic sanctions, are likely to spur Russian President Vladimir Putin to apply heavier and more indiscriminate force in his war against Kyiv, according to the latest public assessment by U.S. intelligence officials.
The officials painted a bleak picture for Ukraine Tuesday during testimony before Congress on the U.S. intelligence community’s annual Worldwide Threat Assessment, warning that despite mounting a fierce and often effective resistance, a growing number of cities will face growing desperation.
Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv could run out of food and water in as little as 10 days, they said.
It will be “an ugly next few weeks,” CIA Director William Burns said, adding that in the most likely scenario, Putin “doubles down with scant regard for civilian casualties.”
“(Putin’s) been stewing in a combustible combination of grievance and ambition for many years,” Burns warned, calling Ukraine “a matter of deep personal conviction” for the Russian leader.
“Putin is determined to dominate and control Ukraine, to shape its orientation,” he added.
U.S. intelligence officials, like their counterparts at the Pentagon in recent days, described growing frustration by Russian forces reaching all the way up to Putin, who expected Kyiv to fall in one or two days.