Russian President Vladimir Putin may escalate the conflict in Ukraine to gain support from his domestic audience, according to a report by US intelligence agencies. The report suggests that Putin could use military intervention in eastern Ukraine as a way to bolster his domestic popularity, which has declined due to economic woes and corruption allegations.
The report also warns that Putin may try to bring Western powers, particularly the United States, into the conflict by launching cyberattacks or other forms of aggression against Western countries. This could potentially lead to a wider conflict that could destabilize the region.
The US intelligence agencies believe that Putin is likely to remain confrontational towards the West in the coming months, as he seeks to maintain his grip on power and regain the support of the Russian people.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in 2014, has claimed over 13,000 lives and has been a major point of tension between Russia and the West. The US and its allies have accused Russia of supporting separatist rebels in the region, a charge that Russia denies.
The report comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West, with the US and European Union recently imposing sanctions on Russia over the imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
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