CIA chief Burns calls war ‘corrosive’ for Putin

(Bloomberg) — The invasion of Ukraine has had a “corrosive” effect on President Vladimir Putin’s regime and on Russian society, William Burns, director of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency, said Saturday. ‘Disaffection with the war will continue to eat away at Russia’s leadership,’ top US spy told talk at Britain’s Ditchley Foundation, adding it creates ‘a once-in-a-generation opportunity’ for intelligence American. The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Burns called his Russian counterpart after Wagner’s failed mutiny. Burns also made an unannounced visit to Kyiv in June.

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All eyes are on Belarus, where fighters from the Wagner mercenary group could regroup en masse. Ukrainian commanders have gathered to hear a report on the operational situation on the Belarusian border, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday. Satellite images show hundreds of large tents set up over the past week at a previously abandoned base in Asipovichy, about 150 miles north of the Ukrainian border. Zelenskiy also repeated on Saturday a warning that Russia was planning what he called a “terrorist act” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Ukraine’s air defense said it shot down eight Shahed drones and three Kalibr missiles launched by Russia overnight. Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canberra, has chastised Australia for indirectly benefiting from the war through high commodity prices while offering little help as Kiev seeks to arm itself for its counter- offensive.

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