On Tuesday, the CIA described Russian President Vladimir Putin as isolated and angry over the situation in Ukraine.
“I think Putin is angry and frustrated now. It looks like he will redouble his efforts and try to crush the Ukrainian military,” Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns testified in Congress on Tuesday.
He predicted that the next few weeks would be “worse” in Ukraine.
Closing the airspace, freezing the assets of individuals or companies, banning financial and business transactions: Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Western nations have increased sanctions against Vladimir Putin, his relatives and the Russian economy.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday decided to ban the import of Russian hydrocarbons, which led to a Western attack on his most valuable source of income (read on page 34). The decision was made “in close coordination” with US allies, he said.
Under increasing pressure, more than 280 large companies with significant presence in Russia, including L’Oréal, Starbucks and Adidas, have decided to suspend their operations in the country. McDonald’s announced on Tuesday that it was temporarily closing its 850 restaurants.
He can’t miss her
Apparently, the war did not go as quickly as the Russian president wanted.
With the exception of Putin, Avril Haynes, the head of the US intelligence services, insisted before Congress that “this is a war he can not lose. But his readiness to accept victory may change over time.”
“We believe Putin is suffering because the West does not respect him,” he said.
The invasion of Ukraine resulted in “deep personal confidence” in the Russian president, and Russian President Mr. Burns vowed, according to him, to create “an explosive mix of flaws and ambitions over the years.”
Intensify the enemy
But Benjamin Druel, a history professor at UQAM, points out that controlling Russia economically can “play both ways.”
“It robs her of the funds to fight the war, which is good, but pushes her to try to go further to get out of it,” he explains. [Jusqu’à maintenant] Sanctions pushed it towards a kind of extremism. ⁇
“It’s possible against the wall [Poutine] Most dangerous, adds Charles-Philippe David, the founder of the Raul-Tundrand leader in strategic and diplomatic studies. Surely, can we step back and give it up? No. There is a fine line between doing the right thing and not doing too much to cause it. ⁇
In addition to always being a little isolated in the international arena, the Russian president is also isolated from a personal point of view. According to the director of the CIA, the circle of advisers around him is “increasingly narrowing”.
“It is an organization in which it is generally not good for people to question or challenge their lives [Poutine] Judgment, ”he said.
Even some of Russia’s allies did not anticipate the “significant difficulties that the Russians would face.” Burns continued.
According to him, even China, which maintains good relations with Moscow, is “concerned” about the impact of its proximity to the Putin regime on its “reputation” and is closely monitoring the possible consequences for the Chinese economy.
“If China decides tomorrow that it opposes what Putin is doing, in isolation, Carrot is done,” Mr David concludes.
Heavy fighting and shelling continued in major cities on Tuesday. Again, Moscow announced a local ceasefire in several cities on Tuesday morning.