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15,000 Russians killed in Ukraine, CIA chief says

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At least 15,000 Russian troops have been killed and 45,000 wounded in the first six months of Russia’s war in Ukraine, says US CIA Director William Burns said on Wednesday.

The CIA director, who was the last senior US official to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin before he ordered the February 24 invasion, described him as “relentlessly suspicious”.

“The latest estimates from the US intelligence community would be something in the vicinity of 15,000 [Russian troops] killed and maybe three times that many wounded,” Mr Burns told the Aspen Security Forum.

“He’s professionally trained to be a cynic about human nature. He is relentlessly suspicious, always attuned to vulnerabilities that he can take advantage of,” Mr Burns said.

The October meeting was designed as a US mission to dissuade Mr Putin from going to war in Ukraine, but Mr Burns said it was obvious then that the Russian leader was moving towards an invasion.

“The impression I conveyed back to the president [Joe Biden] when I got home, was that Putin hadn’t yet made an irreversible decision to launch an invasion, but was clearly leaning hard in that direction,” Mr Burns said.

Persecondnews.com reports that Mr Burns, was former US ambassador to Moscow.

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