VIDEO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “CIA director William Burns on ‘Face the Nation,’ Feb. 26, 2023” – CBS

William Burns file photo, adapted from image at

“MARGARET BRENNAN: You’ve got the whole world to watch right now, so I know you’re a busy man. I want to start on Ukraine and Russia with this anniversary. On the cusp of Russia’s invasion, you flew to Kyiv and you told President Zelenskyy, tell me if this is right, the Russians are coming to kill you. Was that the very first thing you said? …”

Click here for: Transcript: CIA director William Burns on “Face the Nation,” Feb. 26, 2023

“DIRECTOR BURNS: It wasn’t the very first thing I said to President Zelenskyy, but President Biden had asked me to go to Kyiv to lay out for President Zelenskyy the most recent intelligence we had, which suggested that what Vladimir Putin was planning was what he thought would be a lightning strike from the Belarus border to seize Kyiv in a matter of a few days, and also to seize an airport just northwest of Kyiv called Hostomel, which he wanted to use as a platform to bring in air- airborne troops, as a way again, of accelerating that lightning conquest of Kyiv. And I think President Zelenskyy understood what was at stake and what he was up against. Our Ukrainian intelligence partners also had good intelligence about what was coming as well. But I do think that the role of intelligence in this instance, what we’re able to provide to President Zelenskyy, not just on that trip, but you know, throughout the course of the war, have helped him to defend his country with such courage and tenacity. And I think that made a contribution early, you know, just before the war started. …”