US National security advisor Jake Sullivan on Sunday said American intelligence is not at all surprised that Russian President Vladimir Putin is expanding his attack in Ukraine. “Vladimir Putin is frustrated by the fact that his forces are not making the kind of progress that he thought they would make against major cities, including (capital) Kyiv; that he is expanding the number of targets, that he is lashing out, and that he is trying to cause damage in every part of the country (reflects that),” Sullivan told CNN in an interview.
This has been Russia’s plan to attack all over Ukraine — north, south, east and west, Sullivan said. Sullivan said China “was aware” that Putin was “planning something”, but Beijing “may not have understood the full extent of it”. “It’s very possible that Putin lied to them the same way that he lied to Europeans and others,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said as US President Biden has reiterated America will not send its forces to Ukraine and there are no US forces operating in Ukraine.
“But we will defend every inch of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) territory, even as we seek to provide military assistance to the Ukrainian fighters who are bravely defending their homes and bravely defending their cities,” he said.
Sullivan also said Biden is in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the duo speak regularly.
“That is the negotiation that matters, because, ultimately, it is Ukraine that will have to make its own sovereign decisions about the shape of any diplomacy going forward. From the United States’ perspective, we’re here to stay in touch with all the key players – the French, the Germans, the Israelis, and others, but ultimately to support the Ukrainians. And, as things stand right now, Vladimir Putin does not look like he is prepared to stop the onslaught,” he said.