Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Novo-Ogaryovo State Residence outside Moscow, Russia, April 19, 2022.
Vyacheslav Prokofiev | Sputnik | reuters
Washington – Russian President Vladimir Putin The Kremlin is likely to further upgrade its arsenal of long-range nuclear-capable missiles to deter Kiev and its powerful Western allies, US officials warned on Wednesday.
The warning from the country’s top intelligence comes as Russia escalates its year-long war in Ukraine and Putin threatens to pull out of a key nuclear arms treaty.
“Throughout its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has continued to show that it considers its nuclear capabilities necessary to achieve and achieve its goals in a potential conflict against the US and NATO and that it will continue to expand its nuclear arsenal.” Russia’s arsenal as the ultimate guarantor of the Russian Federation,” the country’s top intelligence agency wrote in its annual threat report.
unclassified 35 page intelligence assessment Says Moscow will become more reliant on nuclear weapons after significant war losses and a punitive round of sanctions that have crippled the Kremlin’s ability to finance its war machine.
The intelligence community wrote, “Heavy losses to its ground forces during the conflict and the massive expenditure of precision-guided munitions have reduced Moscow’s ground- and air-based conventional capabilities and increased its reliance on nuclear weapons.” “
Putin, whose country boasts the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world, has previously sharpened the nuclear saber on the heels of Ukrainian advances on the battlefield.
Meanwhile, the West has called Putin’s threats of nuclear weapons use “irresponsible” and an attempt to reassert Russia’s dominance in the region.
Last month, Putin announced that he would suspend participation in the New START treaty, a key nuclear arms reduction agreement. The agreement is the only arms control treaty between Washington and Moscow after former President Donald Trump’s Withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, Treaty,
Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Putin’s decision “deeply unfortunate” and said the Biden administration is ready to hold talks with Russia “at any time, regardless of what’s going on in the world.”
What’s more, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told lawmakers Wednesday that Russia’s military is unlikely to make “major territorial gains” this year, which could present an opportunity for additional nuclear threats.
National Intelligence Director Avril Haines, National Security Agency Director General Paul Nakasone, center, and FBI Director Christopher Wray testify during a Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on threats around the world, Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at the Hart Building.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. , Getty Images
“Putin most likely calculates that time works in his favor and that prolonging the war, including a possible pause in the war, may ultimately be his best remaining path to securing Russian strategic interests in Ukraine, even if It’s going to take years,” said Haines, who led America’s 18 intelligence agencies before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
intelligence chief who had Warned earlier last year that Russia would double forces in Ukraine amid stalled progresswrote that Putin’s offensive did not produce the result he had hoped for and that he “miscalculated the potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces”.
The spymasters also said that the Russian military would continue to face challenges of morale, along with personnel shortages, logistical failures.
Haines, who spoke with CIA Director William Burns, FBI Director Christopher Wray, NSA Director General Paul Nakasone and DIA Director Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, said the intelligence community continues to monitor Russia’s nuclear threats.