US officials are concerned Putin is prolonging efforts in Ukraine in hopes Trump wins in 2024, CNN reported.Putin likely believes Trump in the White House would mean dwindling US support for Ukraine.But whether Putin can maintain his war effort for another 15 months is increasingly questionable.Western officials are increasingly worried that Russian President Vladimir Putin is prolonging his efforts in Ukraine in the hopes that former President Donald Trump or another Republican candidate will take the White House in 2024 and cut US funding to Ukraine, CNN reported this week, citing four US officials.The US has not received specific information about whether Putin is factoring the 2024 election into his long-term plans in Ukraine, government officials told the outlet, but the coming election is nonetheless top-of-mind for national security officials and diplomats.”Putin knows Trump will help him.
And so do the Ukrainians and our European partners,” one unnamed source told CNN.
“So even though we haven’t seen anything explicitly to that effect, you have to assume, I believe, that everyone is thinking it.”Another US official told CNN they have “no doubt” that Putin is “trying to hold out” until the next election, while a European official said they think allowing the war to wage on until the election is “exactly Putin’s plan.”As Ukraine continues to execute its much-anticipated counteroffensive to slow and stunted effect, there are no indications that the war is slowing.
Some analysts have projected that the conflict could continue in some way for years.If Putin is waiting on Trump, or a like-minded politician to win in November 2024, that means he is planning on seeing Russia through at least 15 more months of war.
But that strategy in reality could be logistically challenging given Russia’s mounting manpower problems, the growing dysfunction within its depleted ranks, and Putin’s own waning power following the Wagner Group uprising earlier this summer.Story continuesStill, officials told CNN they believe Putin may see another Trump presidency as a saving grace for Russia, a likely safe bet given Trump’s repeated defenses of Putin in the year-and-a-half since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Following the invasion, Trump called Putin’s justification for beginning the conflict “genius,” and later blamed the US for the war, accusing American politicians of “almost forcing” Putin to invade.Polls suggest Trump is the clear GOP frontrunner despite his myriad legal troubles, which included a third criminal indictment handed down this week.
The former president has not definitively said whether he would continue to support Ukraine should he win, but he called on Republican lawmakers this week to withhold military aid to the country until President Joe Biden agrees to congressional probes into his son Hunter Biden.”The election next year complicates things because the Russians think they have a light at the end of the tunnel.
It encourages Putin to think that they can outlast the Americans because political support for Ukraine will be compromised if Trump wins,” Daniel Fried, a former US ambassador to Poland, told CNN.Putin’s possible long-game makes ongoing US assistance to Ukraine all the more important in the meantime, officials told the outlet.But a CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released this week suggested support for Ukraine is dwindling among the American electorate.
Fifty-five percent of the Americans polled responded that they believe Congress should not approve more funding to support Ukraine.The Biden administration, however, has no plans to stop supporting Ukraine anytime soon, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in comments last month, telling NBC’s Meet the Press that Putin will be disappointed if he hangs his hopes on the 2024 election.”If in fact, he is betting on American resolve to falter or fail, he is going to continue losing that bet,” Sullivan said.Read the original article on Business Insider