“CIA Chief Says Intelligence Agencies Haven’t Concluded Russia Will Invade Ukraine” WSJ


““We don’t know that Putin has made up his mind to use force,” said Mr. Burns. “But what we do know is that he’s putting the Russian military, Russian security services in a place where they could act in a very sweeping way.”

He said that Moscow also has “plans under way to destabilize Ukraine” in other ways.

The CIA director, a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, said that while the Russian leader has apparently made no final decision, “he may see this winter, tactically, as kind of offering a favorable landscape.” Russia’s economy is stronger because of higher oil prices, he said, while in Mr., Putin’s view, U.S. European allies are distracted by a political transition in Germany and elections in France.” WSJ

Comment: Ho Hum. You heard it first here. pl


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43 Responses to “CIA Chief Says Intelligence Agencies Haven’t Concluded Russia Will Invade Ukraine” WSJ

  1. aka says:

    Judging by what happened in Crimea, any western intelligence agency is unlikely to to know what decision Putin might make.

  2. Russia is not going to “invade Ukraine” — it does not want to have to pay for Country 404.
    But, if Kiev starts something, Moscow will finish it.
    One way or the other.

    • Leith says:

      Why would Kiev try to invade Russia? They are resigned to losing the Crimea, other than wishing for the west to get it back for them. Might as well wish for unicorns or sparkle ponies.

      Everyone here knows, or should know, that it was Russia that captured the Crimea 235+ years ago. It was Russian General Suvorov and Admiral Ushakov who took the Crimea for Catherine and Imperial Russia. And everyone in the west should know that in 1954 Khrushchev gave Crimea to to the UkrSSR and NOT to an independent country. Khrushchev probably only did it to tighten and maintain Moscow control over the Ukraine since a rebellion had recently been put down in the annexed western lands of Galicia and Volniya – not for benevolence and not as a gift to the Ukrainian people.

      • Lytenburgh says:

        >Why would Kiev try to invade Russia?

        No, but they could:
        a) Send saboteurs to do some crap in Crimea (several were already caught)
        b) Try to attack the People Republics of Donetsk or Luhansk.

        >Everyone here knows, or should know, that it was Russia that captured the Crimea 235+ years ago. It was Russian General Suvorov and Admiral Ushakov who took the Crimea for Catherine and Imperial Russia.

        Not true. Even in the slightest. For one, neither Suvorov nor Ushakov were involved in the absorbtion of Crimea by Russia. Absobrtion of Crimea was not by the force of arms but by the Proclamation of the annexation of Crimea.

        • Leith says:

          Ah yes, the story of Prince Potemkin and his “peaceful” annexation of the Crimea.

          But without Suvorov’s victory while outnumbered five to one at what is now Suvorovu Bulgaria nine years earlier that proclamation never would have happened. Six years before the proclamation Suvorov moved his troops into the Crimea and chased the followers of a Turkish faction under Khan Devlet Ghirai off the peninsula. Plus five years prior to the proclamation Suvorov prevented a Turkish landing in the Crimea thus making annexation possible. He also commanded in the Crimea during the annexation and put down the not-so-peaceful uprising that came right after it.

        • Lytenburgh says:

          >Ah yes, the story of Prince Potemkin and his “peaceful” annexation of the Crimea.

          Yes. *Peaceful*, a opposed to by the conquest. No need for scary quote marks.

          >”But without Suvorov’s victory while outnumbered five to one at what is now Suvorovu Bulgaria nine years earlier”

          Not to detract from Suvorov’s glory, but, overall, it was Rumyantsev, CnC, who won the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-74.

          >”He also commanded in the Crimea during the annexation and put down the not-so-peaceful uprising that came right after it.”

          I barely qualifies as an uprising. Besides, Suvorov has nothing to do with that.

          • Leith says:

            You are correct about Rumyantsev being CinC. But Suvorov’s overwhelming victory at Suvorovu (Kozludji) was one of the major causes that just a month later the Ottomans had to sign the unfavorable Treaty of Кючук-Кайнарджий. That treaty gave the Russians the Sea of Azov, a foothold in the Crimea, and a Russian puppet on the throne of the Khan of the Crimean Tatars.

            And yes, you are right that the pushback against the annexation in the Crimea itself was minimal. After five years of various revolts from 1777 to 1782 the Crimeans lacked the determination and wherewithal to continue the fight. However their allies the Nogai Tatars rebelled just after after the annexation. Suvorov was sent after them in the Kuban just across the Kerch Strait. The Nogai lost 7000 KIA & 2000 prisoners when Suvorov attacked them at their camp at the junction of the Laba and Kuban river.

    • zm says:

      Any significant military action (provoked or otherwise) and almost total economic isolation would follow.
      Can Russia finish anything without finishing itself in the process ?

      • AngusinCanada says:

        Lol. Russia is not at all going to be totally economically isolated, in the event it is forced to obliterate the Ukrainian military.

      • ISL says:

        You really should read some of the excellent Russia situation reports on SST before making such a claim.

        • zm says:

          I do read them and Russia is certainly not a gas station masquerading as a country but it is not an economic powerhouse either.

          If rule of law and economy were in a much better state, it wouldn’t have many of the current problems.
          Instead of “losing” Ukraine to a foreign power half the planet away, ex USSR countries would be flocking to it.

      • RZ says:

        Who is isolating from who? I suspect that if the Chinese/Russia allies embargo the US it will do more harm to the US than the other way around. China and Russia have already heavily divested from the US and are not heavily in debt like the US. The Chinese have the industrial capacity to manufacture all they need and the consumer base to buy it. The US, not so much.

      • LondonBob says:

        Unlikely, Russia provides a large chunk of pretty much every commodity the world needs, especially China and Europe. Being a continental sized country endowed with enormous natural resources gives Russia ( and the US) inherent strength others lack. Europe is already in trouble with high energy prices, lockdowns killing the economy (especially tourism) and the collapse of the Turkish economy delivering another blow to the already insolvent French and Spanish banks.

        The only people claiming Russia is about to invade are the usual suspects. Now perhaps the Ukrainians would be delusional enough to attack the Donbass, and it is possible this propaganda is meant to give cover for this, I suspect the end result would be not unlike when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, not much except a humbling for the aggressor, of course that coincided with a economic crisis emerging in the US.

        Worth remembering that Russia has little debt and high reserves, quite the anomaly in that sense.

        • English Outsider says:

          Also, I believe, quite important to get Russia to do something that can be made to look aggressive. Russophobia in Europe, at least in the general public, is patchy. I don’t think it’s at that high a level even in the UK or Poland. Some serious “Russian aggression” is needed to get us all behind the neocons.

          Were I Putin I wouldn’t bother with all the fancy Mach x stuff. Just turn off the gas tap. The neocons know that too. And they know it’ll take a very high level of Russophobia indeed for us in the general public to accept sitting around freezing.

          I believe that the need to get to the high level of Russophobia required for that accounts for the already hysterical levels of anti-Russian propaganda we’re seeing in Europe.

          Can’t see our neocons succeeding in that, myself. They’ll bluster but won’t push it that far. Whether I’m right or wrong on that more will be killed in the Donbas while the thing works itself out.

  3. Deap says:

    Biden and media collude to create photo ops to make Biden look “tough against Russia”.

    Good news, “covid tyranny” must be winding down, so they need a new scapegoat..

    They need to pump life back into Russia-Russia-Russia. Earth to Biden: That dog don’t hunt no more.

    • Fred says:

      Biden couldn’t defend dancing grandmothers in Waukesha much less Ukaraine.

      • Deap says:

        When Putin greeted Biden in Russian, Biden blinked. But only after giving Putin a deer in the headlights first glance. Putin instantly took the full measure of the man, in that one initial greeting. The rest of the zoom call was cat toy time for Putin.

        • zmajcek says:

          Biden is just a front, a figurehead. What is behind him is a vast pool of resources and alliances that Russia cannot possibly compete against.

          As good as Putin and his associates are in playing a very weak hand they have, there are limits. They are being squeezed for decades, bit by bit. Russia is playing for time but the enemy is relentless.

          Just ask Trump. He was under siege every day since before he even became POTUS.

          • Fred says:


            Russia was looted once at the collapse of the USSR. Putin and those surrounding him are the reaction to that. It doesn’t look like they are collapsing. I recommend looking at the great American metropolises, NYC, Chicago, Seattle, LA and even our national capital for comparison.

          • Lytenburgh says:

            Nah. Sooner Poland gets partitioned again than what you dream about happens 🙂

          • Deap says:

            Biden has Samantha Powers behind him.

            Who fills in as Commander in Chief if/when there needs to be a call to arms? Agree, our strike force is formidable, our strategic positioning is global, and this is no dissing of our troops.

            But they cannot act on their own.

    • Carey says:

      > “covid tyranny” must be winding down.. <

      I don't think so; they're just getting started, in my estimation.
      It's not about a virus, or "variants" – if only!

  4. plantman says:

    Is the Biden administration hoping to engage Russia in a war that is limited to the Donbas area?

    In Syria, Putin has made no attempt to assist Assad in pushing the US-backed Kurdish militia out of East Syria. Maybe, Biden thinks he can pull off the same strategy here? Besides, any military response by Russia will be used as an excuse for stopping the flow of oil and gas from Russia to the EU, which the US has wanted for some time.

    My sense is that the administration is frustrated with sanctions alone, and wants to escalate to a contained conflict.

  5. ted yaffo says:

    while in Mr., Putin’s view, U.S. European allies are distracted by a political transition in Germany and elections in France.” WSJ

    the reality is burns dare not genuflect towards russia so he misdirects his audience by stating nonsense about political transition in germany. the truth he dare not speak, europe is a basket case, a military joke and the usa has not been weaker right now measuring all important metrics than it has in many moons.

    burns is playing a very weak hand and war is the last thing the usa needs if it wants to at least maintain the illusion of conventional military potency.

  6. blue peacock says:

    Déjà vu all over again!

    Amazing that the majority of Americans don’t catch on after Iraq WMD hoax, Russia Collusion hoax and Scamdemic manufactured hysteria that’s leading to authoritarian apartheid states. At least here in the US we got a few red states going against the globalist Party of Davos apartheid agenda.

  7. Deap says:

    Biden is embarrassing us with his Macho-macho-macho Man pretense. Who is feeding him this garbage. Susan Rice?

    • LeaNder says:

      I’ve been wondering about that too.
      What assumption about his audience do you feel drives this?

      • Pat Lang says:


        If you are talking about Burns, he is an anomaly in this admin. He actually has integrity and probably does not want Bidonian craziness to stain him.

  8. TV says:

    How about the 2 on 1 fast break – Russia invades Ukraine, China invades Taiwan all while Biden dribbles his oatmeal?

    • Deap says:

      Then Ukraine wakes up to find China’s Belt and Road is already nipping their backsides.

      Must wait to see how Evergrande still plays out. Teetering again. Suddenly becoming state landlord to millions of squealing tenants can take down the best of them.

      • ISL says:

        Give me a break. I presume you made the same prediction in 2008 for Leyman which turned millions and millions of owners into Blackrock and Goldman renters causing the US collapse in 2009? Maybe I missed it.

        Skip the propaganda and read the WSJ where analysis = profits/loss. Evergrande is being restructured – no big deal except for some (mostly foreign) unwise investors (boo hoo – an investment lost and China wont bail out the investors – Dude its called capitalism – except in the US where we practice crony capitalism).

        • Deap says:

          WSJ: “The process of thrashing out a restructuring is still in its very early stages……..total debts of $89 billion, out of broader set of liabilities topping more than$300 billion. Most of its debt is onshore ….$20 billion in offshore bonds.”

          Shares in Evergrande plunged 20% today- and that is the WSJ view on Dec 8, 2021.

  9. FWH says:

    Philip Giraldi probably found a root of what is happening in a recent article. I will expand on his points, and I hope he will forgive me if the expansion does not accurately reflect his thoughts. A new special relationship has arisen between Ukraine, Israel and the United States. In addition to the other factors at work, this special relationship is likely to propel the United State into conflict in the Ukraine similar to the way it has been propelled into conflict at various places in the Middle East. A comment on an earlier post on Turcopolier may have been referring to this special relationship, cast as a hard won “trade” relationship.

    If there has been some recent internal destabilization in Ukraine, such as the attempted coup that we heard about, this would bring tensions to a boil. The greatest threat may be viewed by some as the threat of internal destabilization rather than any related troops on the border.

    • Lytenburgh says:

      >If there has been some recent internal destabilization in Ukraine, such as the attempted coup that we heard about, this would bring tensions to a boil.

      There were no “cuop attempt” in the Ukraine. It’s just Zelensky losing popularity over recent scandals, such as:

      – “Vagnergate,” the plot by Ukrainian security forces to convince Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko back in 2020 that Russia was organizing a coup against him. Well, we all know how it ended. Oh, and Zelensky fired his chief spy responsible for the op. Now this intelligencer attends talk shows and Tells It All.
      – the Rotterdam plus scandal, in which coal from eastern Ukraine was bought at the cost of transporting it from Holland, which defrauded Ukrainian consumers of more than $1.5 billion over three years. But, hey – there are good news! Now the Ukraine buys coal from the US!
      – the embezzelment of Covid-19 relief funding;
      – the diversion of a Ukrainian government plane intended for Ukrainians fleeing from Afghanistan for the personal use of wealthy Afghans (Hazaras, to be precise)

      The thing is – Zelensky’s regime is crumbling all around. His rating is barely 20% now. He needs something – anything! – to muddle through.

  10. Deap says:

    Why are we pretending to care about Ukraine, when our own backside is going up in flames. Shoplifter in SF tells how easy it is to destroy America from within:


  11. Sam says:

    On Fox News, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) floats the idea of bombing Russian military assets — and says he wouldn’t even rule out a nuclear strike


    A Republican senator. Two sides of the same coin. Do they care about their country or is it just domestic politics 24×7?

    • Deap says:

      Crazy talk from Senator Wicker. How tenacious is the grip of the military-industrial-complex on certain named GOP officials? Why waste the air.

      Lest we forget. it was Democrat SOS John Kerry who threatened use of “small nuclear strikes” in Syria to support Barry Soetoro’s infamous Red Line.

  12. Sam says:

    “Is the guy who designed Chernobyl still building nuclear reactors?”


    Why is Tucker the only person in the corporate media calling BS on our governmental leadership?

  13. akaPatience says:

    Could pols’ saber rattling be a prelude to dumping more dollars into Ukraine, thus providing funding of US corruptocrats’ kickbacks? Or is this an ignorant, simplistic and cynical take on the situation?

    • Deap says:

      Is Hunter Biden at risk of getting exposed by Ukraine? Is Daddy Biden paying Ukraine protection money just to keep them quiet.

      False flag
      – claim Russia is going to invade Ukraine;
      – claim Ukraine borders must be protected;
      – send billions of dollars of new defense industry supplies to Ukraine
      – defense industry “working families” union members roll in the new dough

      Win – win: Hunter gets one more free ride and defense industry unions get new revenues in a down market, thanks to US taxpayers and Biden politics.

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