William Burns says in an interview with: CBS News That the circle of trust in the Russian president had become increasingly narrow before the invasion a year ago. According to the CIA chief, it was a group of yes-sayers who made Putin believe in an easy and quick victory over Ukraine when the full-scale invasion began in February 2022:
– It was an inner circle where he valued loyalty over competence, a group that reinforced each other’s deeply flawed assumptions and that was, as I see it, the biggest problem when it came to Russian decision-making, Burns says in the interview.
Burns says too That Putin, by all accounts, has increasingly convinced himself that he, and no one else, knows what is best for Russia.
Three months ago, Burns met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Naryshkin. A meeting Burns says didn’t inspire much hope:
– It was very disappointing. My task was not to try to negotiate with him but to make clear that President Putin would face severe consequences if Russia chose to use nuclear weapons. And I think Naryshkin and Putin understood that.
Burns describes Naryshkin As someone affected by arrogance, something the CIA chief also thinks he sees in Putin:
– They believe that time will be on their side, that it can crush the Ukrainians, that it can crush our allies in Europe, that some kind of political exhaustion will finally begin.
– According to my experience, Putin believes that we Americans suffer from ADHD and find it difficult to focus on something for a long time. But perhaps Putin does not think that he can win for some time, and on the other hand, he cannot afford to lose.
According to Burns, it is To break Putin’s arrogance this can only happen through victories on the battlefield.
– Negotiations in the future can only be conducted through earnings.
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