Sep 9, 2022 - World

CIA chief says Russia will pay "a heavy price" for war on Ukraine

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC.

CIA director Bill Burns testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in March. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

CIA director Bill Burns said Thursday it's "hard to see" Russian President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine "as anything but a failure" six months into the invasion, per the New York Times.

The big picture: Burns' comments come as Ukrainian forces wage counteroffensives in the south and northeast and after Secretary of State Tony Blinken on a visit to Kyiv announced more military aid for Ukraine and 18 other European countries "potentially at risk of future Russian aggression."

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address Thursday that "more than a thousand square kilometers [almost 400 square miles] of our territory have been liberated since September 1."
  • Vitaly Ganchev, installed by Russia as the head of the Kupiansk city administration, some 70 miles from Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine, called on women and children to evacuate due to "constant rocket attacks from the Armed Forces of Ukraine," CNN reports.

What he's saying: Burns said at the Billington CyberSecurity conference in Washington he would "not underestimate the capacity or the courage of the Ukrainians" fighting in northeastern Ukraine, according to CNN.

  • "Russia is going to pay a very heavy price," Burns said, per VOA News.
  • "Not only has the weakness of the Russian military been exposed, but there is going to be long-term damage done to the Russian economy and to generations of Russians as a result of this."

The other side: Putin said at an economic forum in the port city of Vladivostok on Wednesday that, in "the longer run," the war "will help strengthen our country both domestically and internationally," VOA News notes.

Go deeper... Dashboard: Russian invasion of Ukraine

Editor's note: This story was corrected to show Volodymyr Zelensky was talking about 400 square miles, not 621 miles.

Go deeper