LRussian leaders are divided over launching a major winter offensive in Ukraine, a senior US official said on Tuesday, amid fears that Moscow could try to retake Kyiv.
“I think we are in the presence of divergent points of view,” the senior official said on condition of anonymity about ongoing discussions within the Russian government. “Clearly, I believe the offensive in Ukraine should continue. There are others who have real questions about Russia’s capability,” he said.
The Kremlin said the US official’s comments came as Russian President Vladimir Putin set out his military goals for 2023 during a meeting with senior military officials on Wednesday.
He further noted that the United States would “adjust and quickly adapt” its intentions if such a major offensive was decided, in the ninth month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “What we are doing, and what we will continue to do, is to ensure that Ukrainians have the means to effectively defend themselves against Russian aggression,” he continued.
For their part, according to this senior official, the Ukrainians “don’t want to be slow, and I think the Russians have to take this into account in their calculations”.
Vladimir Putin acknowledged on Tuesday that the situation is “very difficult” in four regions of southern and eastern Ukraine, which Moscow says is annexing rather than fully seizing them.
At the same time, Russia has opted for massive bombing of Ukrainian infrastructure since October, causing ongoing power and water cuts.
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