American assessments paint a bleak picture of the future of the war, with heavy losses in personnel and equipment on both sides. US officials believe Russian forces plan to sustain intense attacks in the east, characterized by heavy artillery and missile strikes, with the intention of wearing down Ukrainian forces and NATO’s resolve over time.
Members of the Ukrainian parliament have told US lawmakers that the Russian military has calculated the amount of ammunition that Western allies have in stockpiles for the Ukrainian army’s mostly Russian-made artillery, and they plan to wait for Ukrainian forces to settle. run out over time.
“Putin is not deterred and I don’t think he ever will be,” Rep. Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN.
“This war could last for years,” he added.
At home, US and NATO partners are beginning to see the limits of their own supplies of certain advanced weapons, including shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and Javelin anti-tank missiles. These weapon systems have their own complicated supply lines, meaning it could take years to replace the thousands of such missiles already being supplied to Ukrainian forces.
Meanwhile, the US Defense Department’s watchdog has opened an assessment of the department’s plans to replenish its own ammunition and equipment stockpiles as it continues to supply significant quantities to Ukraine, the agency announced Wednesday.
“The purpose of this assessment is to determine the extent to which the Department of Defense has planned to replenish its equipment and ammunition provided to Ukraine,” the department’s inspector general said in a statement.
CNN’s Devan Cole, Katie Bo Lillis, Barbara Starr, Natasha Bertrand, Oren Liebermann, Tim Lister, Donald Judd and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.