Putin suggests ‘doubling down’ could improve Ukraine war outcome

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes doubling down on the military conflict in Ukraine will improve his outcome in the war.

It is according to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, William Burns, Reuters reports.

“He’s in a state of mind that he doesn’t believe he can afford to lose,” said Burns, who was speaking at a Financial Times event in Washington. “I think he’s convinced right now that overtaking again will allow him to progress.”

Additionally, Burns said that China closely follows the Russian conflict in Ukraine and that it affects the calculations of the Chinese leaders on Taiwan, the autonomous island claimed by Beijing.

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Burns noted that the Chinese government had been struck by Ukraine’s fierce resistance to the Russian invasion and the economic costs borne by Russia.

“I think the Chinese leadership is looking at all of this very carefully — the costs and consequences of any effort to use force to take control of Taiwan,” Burns said.

At the same time, he believes it would not alter Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s long-term goals regarding Taiwan.

“I don’t think for a minute that this has eroded Xi’s resolve over time to take control of Taiwan,” Burns said. “But I think it’s something that affects their calculation of how and when they go about it.”

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