February 29
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U.S. National Intelligence Director Avril Haines said Russian military action in Ukraine is proceeding at a "reduced tempo" and suggests that Ukrainian forces may have a brighter outlook in the coming months, the AP writes.

Haines referred to past speculation by some that Russian President Vladimir Putin's advisers may be hiding bad - for Russia - news about military developments from him, saying he "is becoming more informed of the challenges that the military faces in Russia."

“But it’s still not clear to us that he has a full picture of at this stage of just how challenged they are,” the U.S. director of national intelligence said during a speech at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.

Looking ahead, Haines said, “honestly we’re seeing a kind of a reduced tempo already of the conflict” and her team expects that both sides will look to refit, resupply, and reconstitute for a possible Ukrainian counter-offensive in the spring.

“But we actually have a fair amount of skepticism as to whether or not the Russians will be in fact prepared to do that,” she said. “And I think more optimistically for the Ukrainians in that timeframe.”

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