The head of British military intelligence Jim Gockenhall does not expect that Ukraine or Russia will have significant military achievements this year. He said this in an interview with the BBC.
"We should be wary of thinking in binary categories - that people will win or lose - or thinking that things have stalled," Gokenhall said.
Russia, he said, is clearly trying to generate more strength after significant losses.
It is also having to redeploy some of its troops from Donbas to the south, where it is under significant pressure from Ukrainian forces in and around Kherson, he said.
But General Gockenhall still says it is unrealistic to expect a decisive shift in the south in the coming months.
He says he understands Ukraine's desire to regain territory, but adds that while there will be counterattacks and counteroffensives, he does not believe either side will resort to decisive action this year.
The general expects a prolonged conflict.
Gockenhall also noted that the strength of Western unity and Ukrainian resistance has exceeded expectations. So did the failures of the Russian army, whose command, control and logistics were "poor," he suggests. The Russian army also suffered from political interference, from the strategic to the tactical level, he added.
There is a lack of trust between the Russian political and military classes, and General Gockenhall says he is surprised that Moscow has experienced all these problems at once.