| 28 March 2023, Tuesday |

Russia can fight in Ukraine for two more years at current intensity, Lithuania says

According to the head of Lithuania’s military intelligence, Russia has adequate resources to sustain the conflict in Ukraine at its current intensity for two more years.

In order to tackle a security danger, Moscow claims to have started its “special military operation” in Ukraine a year ago. It is referred to as an unprovoked war to occupy an independent state by Kiev and the West.

Elegijus Paulavicius, the head of Lithuania’s intelligence service, told reporters that Russia has the resources necessary to sustain the war for another two years at its current pace.

“How long Russia is be able to wage the war will also depend on the support for Russia’s military from states such as Iran and North Korea”, he added.

Paulavicius was introducing a national threat overview by Lithuania’s intelligence agencies, which also claimed hackers linked to the Russian and Chinese governments repeatedly attempted to break into Lithuanian government computers in 2022.

“Their priority remains continuous long-term collection of information related to Lithuanian internal and foreign affairs,” the agencies said.

It did not say whether the hacking attempts were successful.

Lithuania has been one of the harshest critics of Russia in the European Union, and faced the ire of China after it allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in 2021.

Chinese envoy’s office in Vilnius did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Russia has repeatedly denied accusations in hacking activities abroad.

Lithuania’s intelligence services said sanctions had not harmed Russia’s ability to fund its military as it redirects resources to them from public welfare.

Russia uses “long chains of intermediaries” to procure sanctioned Western technologies, and its army is being adapted for long-term confrontation with the West and will prioritize efforts to rebuild its military presence in the Baltic Sea region, where it will remain “a threat and a source of instability”.

“This will depend greatly on the duration and the outcome of the war in Ukraine – the longer and the costlier the war, the more time it will take,” the report said.

  • Reuters