(FreedomBeacon.com)- In January, U.S. intelligence officials assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would do all he could to avoid a “direct conflict” with the United States military, but instead wanted the United States to recognize Russia’s “claimed sphere of influence” over countries that formerly belonged to the Soviet Union.
It’s an indication that Vladimir Putin is likely bluffing when he puts his nuclear arsenal on high alert, and that all he really wants to achieve is recognition from the most powerful countries in the world that Russia wants to control much of the former Soviet Union.
On Tuesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases the annual threat assessment, this time for 2022. It was submitted in early February and is now fully available. The document outlines intelligence obtained through the end of January before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began but as Russia was building up its troop presence on the border of Ukraine.
The conclusion of U.S. intelligence officials is that Russia “will remain an influential power and a formidable challenge to the United States amidst the changing geopolitical landscape during the next decade.”
Intelligence officials also argued that Russia will continue to strive to be competitive and confrontational in many ways, as it strives to pursue its interests and regain territory.
Russia’s ultimate plan with Ukraine, according to the document is to “dominate Ukraine and other countries in its ‘’near-abroad,’” while at the same time seeking a more stable relationship with the United States.
If that’s the case, this war in Ukraine has certainly set back those plans, though. Instead of a more stable relationship with the United States, Russia now no longer has favored nation trade status, cannot trade normally with the United States and much of the West, and is sanctioned in virtually every way possible.
The only way Putin can get that “stable” relationship with D.C. now is to end the war in Ukraine and walk back his efforts to claim much of the country’s eastern territory.
And how likely is that?
Check out more of the report here.