US intelligence: Russian war against Ukraine to last at least two more years, both sides too exhausted
Regardless of what happens in U.S. politics in the current year 2024, representatives of American and Western intelligence believe that the Russian war against Ukraine is likely to last at least two more years, and some U.S. and Western officials say that fighting could last up to five more years, CNN said on Friday.
The U.S. military representative in Europe predicts that another attempt at a major Ukrainian counter-offensive to split Russian forces in occupied Melitopol will occur no earlier than two years from now. According to him, Ukraine or Russia will not be able to achieve any significant successes on the battlefield in 2024, since both sides are "too exhausted in terms of troops and equipment to see huge moves in 2024," this person said. The Ukrainians have discussed 2025 being "a more feasible option in terms of what they can generate to start another offensive," the publication said.
The United States' and Western officials indicate that continued Western support for Ukraine is critical. However, in the short term, U.S. intelligence officials do not believe that cuts in U.S. funding will have a major impact on Ukraine. However, in the long term, the lack of U.S. assistance may allow Russia to regain its strength by increasing arms supplies and taking advantage of the support of Iran and North Korea.
"More immediately, an end to US funding for Ukraine could limit Ukraine's ability to conduct long-range strikes into Russian-occupied Crimea and the Black Sea — strikes that have been supported by Western weapons, including US-provided Army Tactical Missile Systems, also known as ATACMS," the newspaper said.
The U.S. officials note the withdrawal of U.S. support could have an impact on other allies, especially if the U.S. would demonstrate a lack of political will to support allies and partners in the long term. There is also a risk that EU countries may follow the example of the United States and begin to refuse to provide assistance.
CNN said all eyes are on 2025. Ukraine is expected to spend this year working to strengthen its defense industrial base and rebuild its forces in anticipation of more fighting in 2025, the U.S. official said. At the same time, Russia can also focus on this strategy.
"That's why continued Western support is so critical, as this next year will be when everything is done that will decide how 2025 and possibly beyond play out," the source said.