Sources indicate that Joe Biden’s CIA director Bill Burns has engaged in secret briefings of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the last week. It appears Burns met with Zelensky to explain what the U.S. knew of Russia’s war plans for the upcoming spring.
Burns appears to have traveled to Kyiv in a secretive mission as the U.S. and NATO allies are debating whether to send additional supplies and more sophisticated long-range artillery weapons systems to Ukraine.
An unnamed American official said Burns “reinforced our continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression.”
CIA Director Bill Burns is reported to have made a “Secret Trip” to Kyiv recently to discuss future Offensive Operations with Ukrainian President Zelensky. pic.twitter.com/d1hwTQhgIn
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) January 20, 2023
Burns has made at least two other trips to Ukraine since Russia invaded. He traveled there officially last October and November, with one trip coming amid a heavy Russian missile attack.
As Russia and Ukraine prepare for more intense fighting in the spring, Zelensky has ramped up the pressure on the U.S. and Western European nations to provide his government with more financial and military aid.
The Pentagon recently announced it had approved delivering another $2.5 billion worth of equipment from the U.S. defense stockpile. It is believed to be the second-largest shipment to Ukraine approved by the Department of Defense. It includes Stryker and Bradley armored combat vehicles.
Germany is mulling over a decision about sending some of its Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. Its defense minister says the military is ready to make “swift delivery” when ordered.
The U.S. and its NATO allies have been holding contentious discussions about whether to provide heavy tanks to Zelensky. Russia has threatened retaliation against some NATO nations if heavy tanks are provided to Ukraine.
To date, Germany has been hesitant to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. It has not permitted any nation with the license to use the tanks to do so either. However, it does appear that German officials have agreed to send their heavy tanks to Ukraine if the U.S. decides to do the same.
The U.S. has said so far that it will not send its heavy M1 Abrams tanks to the Zelensky government because of the high cost involved in transporting and supporting them.
NATO diplomats are expected to continue meeting to discuss whether to send more advanced weapons to Ukraine, heightening tensions and the risk of direct war with Russia.