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US Intel Director Says Moscow Must Rely On Nukes, Cyberattacks, And China As Its Military Is Being Pummelling In Ukraine

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Russia’s high losses and wasted resources in Ukraine have reduced its traditional military threat, leaving it reliant on “asymmetric” options like nuclear weapons, cyberattacks, and space technology, as well as other countries like China, according to the US intelligence director on Wednesday.

Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, stated during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that Russia “has suffered losses that will require years of rebuilding and leave it less capable of posing a conventional military threat.”

As a result, “Russia will become even more reliant on asymmetric options such as nuclear, cyber, and space capabilities, as well as on China,” according to Haines.

She also stated that Moscow will have future difficulties operating as a leading power in Eurasia and “on the global stage” due to its weakened military status and the global backlash against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine a little more than a year ago.

Since the beginning of its invasion, Russia’s strategic failures in Ukraine have been well documented, ranging from botched strategies to significant casualties, estimated to be close to 200,000 killed or wounded. As his invasion struggles to achieve its goals, Putin has made repeated nuclear threats, and his threats to use nuclear weapons have drew widespread attention and condemnation. Russia suspended its participation in a major nuclear arms control treaty with the US as recently as late February, opening the door to increased arsenals and the start of a “dangerous new nuclear era.”

Russia’s relationship with China has also been discussed, with speculation that Beijing may be considering sending lethal aid to Russia. The United States and other allies have warned of “consequences” if Beijing takes that step. In turn, China has chastised the West for supplying weapons to Ukraine.

Though Beijing claims to be neutral in the conflict, experts say Beijing does not want Putin to lose or be humiliated by the outcome. China “doesn’t want the war to drag on with all the attendant instability, but it also doesn’t want Russia to lose or the regime to collapse,” Susan Thornton, former acting assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told Insider recently.

But, according to Thornton, Beijing does not want to get too involved in the war and does not believe China will provide weapons to Russia. “But there are a lot of Chinese companies, and it’s a big country — things can happen, and shipments will be detected, and things will get worse,” Thornton added.

Haines’ remarks on Wednesday echoed those of other US officials on Russia’s post-Ukraine status. A top Pentagon official told lawmakers in late February that Russia had lost the war and would emerge from the conflict in Ukraine as a “shattered military power.”

According to Colin Kahl, the under secretary of defence for policy, Russia will “emerge from this war weaker than it went in.”

Similar assessments have been made by top military experts. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a strategic failure. So far, the Kremlin has failed to meet its strategic objectives and has incurred significant costs. Russia’s military will have to be rebuilt “Insider spoke with George Barros, a military analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, in September.

Info source – Business Insider

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