US officials privately believe it will be impossible for Kiev to win back its lost territories, according to the outlet

Kiev’s foreign backers believe that Ukraine will not be able to take back its lost territories as its forces are stretched too thin, the New York Times reported on Tuesday citing anonymous sources.

US officials who reprtedly spoke to the outlet privately consider it “all but impossible” for Ukraine to win back all the territories it has lost to Russia. However, they are said to believe that if Kiev’s battlefield performance improves, it could still “emerge a victor” in the conflict by moving towards closer integration with NATO and Europe.

American officials also reportedly think that starting peace talks at this point would be a “mistake,” given that Ukraine is about to receive $61 billion approved by the US Congress in May, which is set to go towards strengthening the country’s defenses.

Washington also acknowledges that this may not be enough and that Russia could still make significant headway if there is a “big strategic shift.” However, US officials believe that such a development is unlikely to happen any time soon.

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The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC before the NATO leaders summit.
Kremlin reveals position on NATO summit

“Ukrainian forces are stretched thin and face difficult months of fighting ahead, but a major Russian breakthrough is now unlikely,” Michael Kofman, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told the outlet. His colleague and a former intelligence official, Eric Ciaramella, also suggested that neither Russia nor Ukraine currently “possess the capabilities to significantly change the battle lines.”

The NYT report comes as NATO members have gathered for a summit in Washington on Tuesday where the topic of continued support for Ukraine will be at the top of the agenda. 

It is expected the bloc’s leaders will reconfirm their willingness to back Kiev, but will likely stop short of inviting Ukraine to join the organization. Moreover, according to an AFP report, NATO will signal to Ukraine’s Zelensky that his country will be unable to become a full-fledged member for quite some time.

Ukraine’s NATO ambitions have repeatedly been cited by Russia as one of the key reasons it launched its offensive against the country back in 2022. Moscow has stressed that the US-led military bloc’s continued expansion towards its borders is a threat to Russia’s national security.

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