Top US and European officials are concerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is factoring the 2024 US presidential election into his��Ukraine war plan in hopes that a loss by President Joe Biden next year will lead the US to curtail its support for Ukraine and improve Russia’s negotiating position, four US officials told CNN.
One US official said they have “no doubt” that Putin is “trying to hold out” until the 2024 election.
Another source familiar with the intelligence said “Putin knows Trump will help him. And so do the Ukrainians and our European partners,” the source said. “So even though we haven’t seen anything explicitly to that effect, you have to assume, I believe, that everyone is thinking it.”
A European diplomat told CNN that they believe Russia trying to ride out the war in Ukraine until the US election “is exactly Putin’s plan.”
The US does not yet have explicit intelligence about Putin’s mindset, or whether he is purposefully dragging out the war in hopes of a Donald Trump or Republican presidential victory.
But next year’s election remains a key factor that top Western national security, intelligence and diplomatic officials believe will influence Putin’s decisions in Ukraine, making it even less likely the war is resolved before the end of next year.