CIA Director Says Putin’s Military Has Lots of Problems, ‘Manpower is Only One of them’

CIA Director Williams Burns said the Russian military has more problems than just manpower after President Vladimir Putin packing order 300,000 reservists last week. Putin’s decision, which sparked protests And attempts to flee the country, come at a time when Ukraine liberated some areas controlled by Russia.

“Even if he were able to muster 300,000 soldiers, it’s not like he was throwing people like cannon fodder toward the front, many of them wouldn’t be well trained, and many of them wouldn’t have the kind of equipment they needed or had,” Burns told CBS Evening News. And managing editor Nora O’Donnell said in an exclusive interview Monday that “they need the logistical support, too.” His military has a lot of other problems; Human power is just one of them.”

Putin’s military mobilization seemed to be an admission that the war in Ukraine was not going according to plan. While announcing the move, Putin also hinted at the possibility of nuclear war.

“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, in order to protect Russia and our people, we will definitely use all the means at our disposal,” Putin said. “This is not a hoax.”

Burns said it was “extremely difficult to say at this point” whether Putin was being dishonest, but US intelligence services had seen “no practical evidence” that Putin was close to using nuclear weapons.

“What we have to do is take it seriously, and watch for indications of actual preparations,” he said, adding that policy makers should also “report very directly about the dire consequences that could result from any use of nuclear weapons.”

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Watch more of Norah O’Donnell’s exclusive interview with CIA Director Bill Burns on “CBS Sunday Morning” October 2.

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