By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – United States intelligence officials warned Wednesday that Russia was preparing for a long war in Ukraine and that a victory in the eastern Donbas region may not mean the battle is over.
The warnings came as Ukraine’s government expressed concern that the fighting would impact global food supplies. Kyiv said it remains unable to send shipments of grain overseas due to a Russian blockade of port cities
The warnings came as Russian forces reportedly attacked the Azovstal metal works in Ukraine’s bombed-out city of Mariupol. More than 1,000 soldiers and over 100 civilians were believed to be sheltering there.
The fighting underscored broader concerns within the U.S. intelligence community that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will not end soon despite its worldwide ramifications.
The U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told a Senate hearing the next few months could see Russian actions escalate and become more unpredictable. “The current trend increases the likelihood that President Putin will turn to more drastic means,” Haines said.
She warned that Moscow could seek a land bridge to nearby Moldova’s breakaway territory of Transnistria, where Russian troops are based. That would mark an expansion of the war further into Europe, raising concerns among NATO military alliance member states.
With fighting escalating, the death toll keeps climbing with signs of massacres.
On Tuesday, there was a grim discovery in the city of Izyum in the east, where the bodies of 44 civilians were found in the rubble of a building, authorities said.
The building reportedly collapsed in March following Russian shelling, though Moscow has denied targeting civilian sites.
The United Nations said the civilian death toll across Ukraine was likely to be much higher than the figure of 3,381 it has so far confirmed. Ukraine was also mourning its first post-independence president, Leonid Kravchuk, who died aged 88.
Western countries also blamed Moscow Tuesday for a significant cyber-attack that caused internet outages in Ukraine and beyond at the start of the war. The Kremlin has denied the allegations.
Yet, people still received some happier news for Ukraine: its homegrown pop act Kalush Orchestra qualified for the final of the televised Eurovision Song Contest.
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