Leaked classified intelligence suggests US is pessimistic that Ukraine can end war quickly. Here’s what we know

Cnn staff

The highly classified leaked Pentagon documents posted to social media offer a pessimistic US view of the war’s progress in Ukraine.

The documents highlight flaws in Ukraine’s weaponry and air defenses and predict a stalemate in the war for months to come.

The documents, which appear to date from February and March, detail many of Ukraine’s perceived military shortfalls as Kyiv prepares for a spring counteroffensive against Russia.

Several of the classified documents warn Ukraine’s medium-range air defenses to protect front-line troops will be “completely reduced by May 23,” suggesting Russia could soon have aerial superiority and Ukraine could lose the ability to amass ground forces in a counteroffensive.

The documents also underscore lingering problems with Russia’s own military offensive, predicting that the result will be a stalemate between the two sides for the foreseeable future.

Officials familiar with the situation tell CNN the documents appear to be part of a daily intelligence briefing deck prepared for the Pentagon’s senior leaders, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

The leaking of the documents — many of which are marked top secret — represents a major national security breach, and the Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into who may have leaked them while the Pentagon is investigating how the leak impacts US national security.

In addition to the assessment of the Ukraine war, the documents include intelligence gathered on allies and adversaries alike.

Here are the latest headlines:

  • UN says nearly 8,500 civilian deaths confirmed in Ukraine since invasion: The  the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said it had recorded 22,734 civilian casualties in Ukraine. between the beginning of the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022, until April 9, 2023 — with 8,490 civilians killed and 14,244 injured. The actual figures are likely to be “considerably higher,” the OHCHR cautioned, because information from some frontline locations such as Mariupol and Severodonetsk had been delayed, with many reports pending corroboration.
  • Ukraine’s top national security official downplays leaked intelligence documents: Some of the information in the highly classified leaked Pentagon documents was “not secret at all,” according to Oleksii Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security Council. “You can find it in publicly available sources,“ Danilov told journalist, Vassili Golod, of German broadcaster ARD, in an interview on Sunday. Ukraine is in constant contact with its key allies, such as the US, the UK, Germany and Poland, according to Danilov.
  • Americans detained by RussiaPaul Whelan, an American wrongfully detained in Russia, was able to call home on Monday for the first time in nearly two weeks, his brother David Whelan said Tuesday. “We been led to believe, erroneously, that Paul had been moved to LPU-21, the prison hospital,” David Whelan said in an email to journalists. Such a move has happened in the past, leaving Paul Whelan unable to call his parents or the embassy. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden spoke with the parents of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal
  • correspondent detained in Russia, Tuesday. It’s their first time speaking since Gershkovich was arrested in Russia last month. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that he had designated Gershkovich as wrongfully detained Monday, and reiterated that he called on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to immediately grant consular access and release the detained journalist.
  • Russia conducted a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile: Russia successfully conducted a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Tuesday, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. The launch from the Kapustin Yar test range in the Astrakhan region was part of testing on next-generation ICBM combat equipment, the Defense Ministry reports.

Related Articles

Back to top button