In June, before the mutiny of Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner PMC, CIA Director William Burns secretly visited Ukraine, The Washington Post reports, citing its sources. During this visit, Burns was presented with the Ukrainian plan to return the Russian-occupied territories and start ceasefire negotiations before the end of 2023.
According to him, by autumn, Ukraine should return most of the territories in the south of the country, and also make significant progress in the East. After that, near the border with Crimea, off the coast of which the Russian Black Sea Fleet is located, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will install missile systems and artillery.
The publication quotes a high-ranking Ukrainian official who is sure that Russia understands only the language of force and will be ready for a real negotiation process only if it feels threatened. At the same time, it is emphasized that, in exchange for abandoning the forceful way of returning Crimea, Ukraine will demand from the Russian Federation the recognition of security guarantees that it hopes to receive from its Western partners.
The material indicates that the conversation between Burns and the Ukrainian leadership took place after the start of the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but even before the moment when a significant part of the Ukrainian military brigades trained in Western countries entered the battle. This is not the first such clandestine visit by a CIA director to Ukraine since the start of the war.
Earlier in an interview with the Washington Post, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny said that he was "pissed off" by talk that the counteroffensive was developing more slowly than expected. He noted that the Ukrainian military advance every day, although every meter is given to them at the cost of considerable blood. Zaluzhny also stressed the need to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as soon as possible, due to the fact that Russian aviation is superior to Ukrainian both technically and quantitatively.