Ukraine ‘could lose on the battlefield by the end of 2024’, warns CIA Director William Burns

  • CIA Director William Burns said Ukraine could lose by the end of the year
  • The invaded country urgently needs new aid packages to fight Russia
  • But a $60 billion package is being held up in the U.S. House of Representatives

Ukraine could lose its bloody war against Russia by the end of the year if it does not get the support it needs, the CIA director has warned.

William Burns admitted yesterday that without proper support from the West, Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin “could find himself in a position where he could essentially dictate the terms of a political settlement.”

The CIA chief told attendees Thursday at the Bush Center Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas, that while the Ukrainian armed forces can “hold their own on the battlefield,” they are currently “at a difficult moment on the battlefield ‘.

Progress on the front lines of the bloodiest conflict on European soil in decades has been slow, and Russia has increased its pressure on Ukrainian forces.

After capturing the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka in February, Russia is now advancing towards the hill town of Khasiv Yar.

If the forces take Khasiv Yar, they could advance towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, two important cities in the Donetsk region that are still under Ukrainian control.

An aerial photo shows destroyed houses after a strike in the town of Pryvillya in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 14, 2022

Ukrainian soldier walks along a trench on the front line with Russian-backed separatists, not far from the city of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, on December 10, 2021

Ukrainian soldier walks along a trench on the front line with Russian-backed separatists, not far from the city of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, on December 10, 2021

William J Burns (pictured) heads the Central Intelligence Agency

William J Burns (pictured) heads the Central Intelligence Agency

Ukrainian troops are struggling as supplies and ammunition dwindle. A massive $60 billion military aid package is currently stalled in the US House of Representatives, currently controlled by the Republican Party, after passing the Senate.

Burns said US help would mean Ukraine could turn the tide of the battle and “continue to wreak havoc with deeper attacks on Crimea… and against the Black Sea Fleet.”

He added: “With the boost that military aid would provide, both practically and psychologically… the Ukrainians are fully capable of holding their own until 2024 and breaking Putin’s arrogant view that time is on his side.”

On top of military aid, Ukraine needs another £34 billion in aid this year alone, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Russia’s war against Ukraine must end, calling it both a human tragedy and a drag on growth prospects for the global economy.

Support for Ukraine from most of the Western world remains strong. Yesterday it was revealed that G7 members are considering using the $300 billion in Russian assets frozen due to sanctions as collateral for lending to Ukraine.

At least nine people, including three children, were killed in Russian attacks on Ukraine in the early hours of Friday. Kiev said it had shot down a Russian strategic bomber for the first time.

Moscow said a military plane crashed over the south of the country while returning to base from a combat mission after a technical failure.

Shooting down a Russian bomber firing cruise missiles at Ukraine would be a highly symbolic victory for Kiev, which has been ravaged by hundreds of nightly Russian airstrikes since Moscow’s invasion more than two years ago.

The latest overnight Russian attacks on the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region have killed at least nine people and injured more than a dozen, Ukrainian officials said on Friday.

‘A child seriously injured during a massive enemy attack on the Dnipropetrovsk region died today in hospital. The death toll has now risen to nine, including three children,” the office of Ukraine’s prosector general said in a statement on Telegram.