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DNI: Neither Russia nor Ukraine has ‘definitive’ advantage

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — The war in Ukraine was top of mind at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on worldwide threats Thursday. National Intelligence officials said Ukraine may not be able to counter Russia’s manpower if most Western military aid ceased.

During her testimony at the Senate Committee on Armed Services worldwide threats hearing Thursday, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told lawmakers that Russia gained less territory in April than any other month this year.

She said the fighting has now focused on gains and losses over small pieces of land.

With this hearing the same week as a drone attack on the Kremlin that Russia now blames on the United States, Haines declined to comment in detail about the matter, only saying the U.S. continues to investigate the incident.

The director also said that neither Russia nor Ukraine has a definitive advantage right now in the war and that Russian President Vladimir Putin has likely scaled back his immediate ambitions due to challenges on the battlefield.

Amid fear of retaliating against the U.S., Haines said Russia is unlikely to use nuclear weapons. However, she emphasized that this still remains a war, and right now, she believes military aid to Ukraine continues to be crucial.

“Ukraine remains heavily dependent on external military aid and would likely be unable to counter Russia’s natural manpower and resource advantages if most Western military aid ceased,” Haines said.

China also served as a primary focus during the hearing with intelligence leaders saying the country has become more distrustful of America.

The possible Chinese takeover of Taiwan still remains a big concern, they said, and Chinese leaders may be further looking into a military option to do so.

However, Haines said China wants stability and to avoid triggering any sanctions or restrictions.

Devan Markham contributed to this report.

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