Situation in Ukraine

CIA chief pays a secret visit to Ukraine

by Sputnik Globe

The head of the CIA in a secret trip to Ukraine reportedly held talks with officials on an ambitious strategy to retake territory from Russia and open ceasefire talks with Moscow by year-end.
Citing officials familiar with the visit, US media reported that CIA Director William Burns during the trip in June met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine’s top intelligence officials. The purpose of the visit was to reaffirm the Biden administration’s commitment to sharing intelligence designed to help Ukraine in the conflict.
Ukraine officials told Burns they aim to move artillery and missile systems near the boundary line of Crimea and push further into eastern Ukraine by the fall. Then Kiev intends to open negotiations with Moscow for the first time since they broke down in March of last year, the report said, citing people involved with the planning.
Officials reportedly later said they hope by agreeing not to take Crimea, Russia would accept whatever security guarantees Kiev can secure from the West.
One Ukrainian official told the outlet “the US agrees that Ukraine should enter the negotiations from a strong position.”
The CIA refused to comment when asked about Burns’ assessment of Kiev’s plans, the report said.
Burns’ trip occurred just before Wagner chief Yevgeniy Prigozhin’s aborted mutiny. The report said the US intelligence community had detected in mid-June that Prigozhin was plotting something, but that those findings were not relayed to Ukrainian officials.
According to the report, Kiev is under extraordinary pressure from Western allies that provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in weaponry ahead of the counteroffensive.
Earlier Friday, US media reported that Burns recently called his Russian counterpart, Sergey Naryshkin, to inform him that the United States had no involvement in Prigozhin’s aborted mutiny.

Ukraine launched its much-touted counteroffensive in early June after multiple postponements. The Russian Defense Ministry has repeatedly said Ukrainian troops are trying to advance in the South Donetsk, Artemovsk, and Zaporozhye directions, but without success.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine lost as many as 259 tanks and 780 armored vehicles since the start of its counter-offensive. A number of Western media also noted the weak results of Kiev’s counteroffensive, while Zelensky himself admitted that the progress was “slower than desired.”

Sputnik Globe
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