The American assessments paint a gloomy picture of the future of the war with large losses of personnel and equipment on both sides. US officials believe Russian forces plan to sustain intense attacks in the east, marked by heavy artillery and missile attacks, with the intention of eroding Ukrainian forces and NATO’s determination over time.
Members of the Ukrainian parliament have told US lawmakers that the Russian military has calculated how much ammunition Western allies have in stock for the Ukrainian military’s mainly Russian-made artillery – and plans to wait for Ukrainian forces to run out over time.
“Putin is not deterred and I do not think he will ever be deterred,” the rep said. Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN.
“This war can last for years,” he added.
At home, the United States and NATO partners are beginning to see the limits of their own supplies of certain advanced weapons, including shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and Javelin anti-tank missiles. These weapons systems have their own complicated supply lines, which means that it can take years to replace the thousands of such missiles already delivered to Ukrainian forces.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense’s watchdog has opened an evaluation of the department’s plans to rebuild its own ammunition and equipment stocks, while continuing to supply significant quantities to Ukraine, the agency announced on Wednesday.
“The purpose of this evaluation is to determine the extent to which the DOD has planned to rebuild its equipment and ammunition delivered to Ukraine,” the department’s inspector general said in a statement.
CNN’s Devan Cole, Katie Bo Lillis, Barbara Starr, Natasha Bertrand, Oren Liebermann, Tim Lister, Donald Judd and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.