CIA chief says Putin is fine with 15,000 Russians killed in Ukraine war

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Russia’s territorial gains in Ukraine have been few and have come at a “very high” cost, senior US officials said Wednesday, while dismissing concerns about President Vladimir Putin’s health, illustrating the deadliest phase of the conflict.

CIA Director William J. Burns poured cold water on persistent speculation that the Russian leader is ill during a security forum in Aspen, Colo.

“There are a lot of rumors about President Putin’s health, and as far as we can tell, he is perfectly healthy,” he said. teasedHe added that it was “not a formal intelligence judgement”.

In the months leading up to and following the invasion, Putin was portrayed even more heavily Strange and irrational. Widespread speculation that he was ill, perhaps suffering from cancer, continued to circulate as the war dragged on.

Burns said about 15,000 Russian soldiers were killed in the war in Ukraine. Up to 45,000 people have been wounded, he said, citing the latest US intelligence on Russian casualties. “Ukrainians have also suffered — maybe a little less than that, but … significant casualties,” Burns said.

Top US Army General Mark A. Milli told reporters Wednesday that Russian forces have gained just 6 to 10 miles of new territory in the past 90 days, focusing on capturing eastern Ukraine. “The bottom line is that the cost is so high, the gains are so low, there’s a grinding war,” he said.

U.S.-supplied Himars are changing calculus on Ukraine’s front lines

“Progress is measured in hundreds of meters” in a few days, Milley said.

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The U.S. is considering sending more advanced weapons to Ukraine, amid fears from Kevin that Russian forces could become stronger if the war drags on into the winter, making counterattacks more difficult. “After the winter, when the Russians have more time to dig in, it will definitely be more difficult,” Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, said on Tuesday.

Those weapons included fighter jets, General Charles Q. Brown Jr., US Air Force Chief of Staff, said Wednesday. Brown did not say what type of aircraft, but said options include American-made fighter jets and European-made ones.

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