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Washington Post: Leaked US document foresees no Ukraine-Russia negotiations this year

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 13, 2023 12:12 PM 3 min read
Ukrainian soldiers shoot with a BMP during a training as Russian-Ukrainian war continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on April 07, 2023. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russia's war against Ukraine is expected to continue in 2024, with both sides refusing to negotiate despite neither of them achieving a decisive victory, according to an alleged U.S. intelligence assessment leaked online and obtained by the Washington Post.

The highly confidential document purportedly suggests that even if Ukraine regains a "significant" amount of territories and inflicts "unsustainable losses on Russian forces," which U.S. intelligence considers unlikely, the country's gains would not lead to peace talks.

"Negotiations to end the conflict are unlikely during 2023 in all considered scenarios," reads the document, cited by the publication.

The U.S. intel assessment also predicts that the year will end with only "marginal" territorial gains for both sides due to "insufficient troops and supplies for effective operations," according to the Washington Post.

The document describes such a stalemate as "the most likely scenario" but also analyses possible outcomes of Russia or Ukraine gaining a "decisive advantage" on the battlefield.

U.S. officials have warned that such analysis on the war in Ukraine is fluid, and the leaked material may not contain the details the U.S. has gathered in the days since it was produced, reads the report.

According to the leaked document, the alleged stalemate in Russia's war may not be actualized if there are "substantive improvements to Ukrainian or Russian military capabilities."

The document obtained by the Washington Post is part of a larger classified U.S. military and intelligence files leak that first appeared on the social media network Discord. Following the leak, the Pentagon announced that it had launched an investigation into the source of the leaks.

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Leaked U.S. intelligence documents suggest that up to 354,000 Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have been killed or injured since the start of the full-scale invasion, Reuters reported on April 12.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov spoke about the intelligence leak during a visit to Spain on April 12, acknowledging that there is a "mix" of true and false information contained in them. However, according to Reznikov, the true information is already outdated.

Earlier, the Washington Post wrote that the leak was one of the factors slowing Ukraine's upcoming counteroffensive, given that the documents delve into details about the Ukrainian military, which could potentially force them to alter plans for the counteroffensive.

According to a source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, cited by CNN, Kyiv has already changed some of its military plans following the leak.

Zelensky: Ukraine can’t start counteroffensive yet due to weapon shortage
Ukraine can’t start the next counteroffensive due to a shortage of weapons, including heavy equipment and fighter jets, President Volodymyr Zelensky told the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

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