Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that he cannot afford to lose in Ukraine and is "doubling your bet" in the war but shows no signs of planning to use tactical nuclear weapons, CIA Director Bill Burns said on Saturday.

Despite the failure of Russian forces to capture kyiv and their difficulties on the main fronts in the southeastern Donbas region, the Russian leader persists in his belief that his troops can defeat those of Ukraine, Burns said.

keeps her "despite key defeats on the battlefield"said the head of US espionage at a Financial Times conference. "I think he’s in a frame of mind where he doesn’t think he can afford to lose."he pointed.

According to Burns, Putin is "concerned" for years years by Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union, in a "highly combustible combination of grievance, ambition and insecurity".

"He staked a lot on the decisions he made to launch this invasion. I think he is convinced at this point that redoubling his efforts will allow him to progress.".

– Tactical nukes
Burns, a former US ambassador to Russia who spent much time studying Putin, said neither the CIA nor other Western intelligence agencies see any signs that Moscow is prepared to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to win a victory in Ukraine or target supporters. from Kyiv.

Russia put its nuclear forces on high alert shortly after launching the invasion on February 24. Since then, Putin has made thinly veiled threats hinting at his willingness to deploy tactical nuclear weapons if the West intervenes directly in the Ukraine conflict.

"We do not see, as an intelligence community, practical evidence at this point of Russian planning for the deployment or even the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons."Burns noted.

"Given the kind of saber rattling that (…) we have heard from Russian leaders, we cannot take such possibilities lightly."he nuanced "So we remain very focused as an intelligence service at a time when the stakes are high for Russia."said.

Burns offered no assessment of the current situation on the battlefield.

– China "surprised"

But he argued that China, which Washington now sees as its main adversary, is closely studying the lessons of the war and what it means for its plans to take control of Taiwan.

According to Burns, Chinese President Xi Jinping is still thinking of incorporating Taiwan into China, by force if necessary. But Beijing has "Surprised" because of the poor performance of the Russian military forces, as well as the harsh resistance of Ukrainian society and the strong support that the West has given to kyiv, added the CIA number one.

Russia’s experience in Ukraine is probably affecting China’s calculus "about how and when" it will try to take over Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province. "I think you have been struck by the way in which NATO has come together to impose economic costs on Russia as a result of that aggression."he continued.

to Beijing "disturbs" that Putin has achieved, against his will, "bring Europeans and Americans together"Burns said. "What conclusions do you draw from all that remains a question mark".

"I think the Chinese leadership is looking at all of this very carefully, the costs and consequences of any effort to use force to gain control of Taiwan.".

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