CIA Director William Burns said on Wednesday that Russia suffered heavy losses during its invasion of Ukraine, with losses estimated at 15,000 soldiers killed and 45,000 wounded according to the latest intelligence assessments. Americans.
Burns spoke at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado and said, “The latest estimates from the US intelligence community are around 15,000 (Russian forces) killed and possibly three times as many injured. So a fairly large set of losses.
The Ukrainians also suffered – probably a little less than that, but… significant losses.
Burns conducted an interview with Andrea Mitchell of NBC News that the numbers are “always in a range”, adding that “there is no perfect number”.
The Russians have kept their official casualties secret and have not updated their official death total of 1,351 troops since March 25. Public support for the “special military operation” remains high, but if the true cost of the invasion were to be revealed, then support for the war could plummet.
Burns noted that after a disastrous start to the war by attempting to quickly invade the entire country, the Russians adapted and in doing so took more action. “comfortable way of waging war,adding that this new offensive allows them to use long-range weapons and avoid the pursuit of heavy casualties after the heavy casualties they suffered earlier in the invasion.
“The Russians and the Russian military have adapted,” Burns said. “One of my recent conversations with one of my Ukrainian counterparts, he pointed out that stupid Russians are all dead.”
No proof of Putin’s poor health
Burns said that despite numerous reports that the Russian president Vladimir Poutine suffered from poor health, possibly cancer, in addition to possibly being mentally unstable, there is no evidence or information to support either claim.
Burns even joked with the audience, “There are a lot of rumors about President Putin’s health, and as far as we can tell, he’s too healthy,” adding that it was “not a formal intelligenceth judgment.
While reports earlier in the war speculated that Putin was acting erratic and irrational, his actions were consistent with the way he always operated, Burns said. The former US Ambassador to Moscow has dealt with Putin for more than two decades and said Putin is “a big fan of control, intimidation and revenge.
“He is convinced that his destiny as the leader of Russia is to restore Russia as a great power. He believes the key to achieving this is to recreate a sphere of influence in Russia’s neighborhood, and he cannot do that without controlling Ukraine.
Russian Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also dismissed Western reports of poor health as false.
“In recent months, so-called Ukrainian, American and British information ‘specialists’ have launched various fakes about the president’s health. But these are just fakes,” Peskov told reporters earlier on Thursday.
Russian goals turn into more than Donbass
As the Russian invasion is about to enter its fifth month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow’s goals go beyond securing Donbass in eastern Ukraine , adding that “the geography is different”.
“He is far from only DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic); this is also the Kherson region, the Zaporizhzhia region and a number of other territories, and this process continues. It continues steadily and persistently,” Lavrov said in a Wednesday interview with RIA Novosti.
Lavrov said the long-range weapons the United States is supplying Ukraine will continue to move the line west, as Russia says its actions are the protection of its borders while persisting with the Nazi myth as rationale for war.
“We cannot allow any weapons into the part of Ukraine controlled by Zelensky or anyone who will replace him that poses a direct threat to our territory or the territory of the republics that have declared their independence or those that wish to determine their future independently.” , Lavrov said.
“The president was very clear, as you quoted: denazification and demilitarization in the sense that there should be no threat to our security, no military threat from Ukrainian territory, and that goal remains,” Lavrov said. .
Steve Balestrieri is a national security columnist from 1945. He served as a non-commissioned officer and warrant officer in the U.S. Army Special Forces before injuries forced him into early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com and other military news agencies, he covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for over 11 years. His work has been regularly featured in the Massachusetts Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers.