While Russia is losing, Mr. Putin does not believe his forces will ultimately be defeated and he will not make major concessions or give up land he has taken, according to American officials. Ukraine’s government believes it is winning, and thinks next year it can retake land the Russian Army has seized.
The White House spokesman also said Mr. Burns planned to raise in his meeting the matter of Americans detained in Russia. The Biden administration has been trying to negotiate a prisoner swap with Russia to bring home the W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner and Paul N. Whelan, who is imprisoned on espionage charges.
Ms. Griner has been detained in Russia since February after she flew to an airport near Moscow with a small amount of hashish oil in her luggage. She was sentenced in August to nine years in prison.
In August, American and Russian officials said they would use a special channel set up by Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin at their meeting in Geneva last year to negotiate over Ms. Griner and Mr. Whelan. U.S. officials have declined to divulge details of that channel. The Biden administration has offered to release Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer imprisoned in the United States, for the freedom of the two Americans.
But talks over Ms. Griner’s and Mr. Whelan’s release have been at an impasse, and U.S. officials said they did not expect any breakthrough as a result of Mr. Burns’s trip, the focus of which is averting any potential for nuclear confrontation or escalation.
Mr. Burns’s meeting also came as the United States announced new sanctions against Russian oligarchs linked to the Kremlin. In all, 14 people, 28 entities and eight aircraft were blocked, the Treasury Department said, part of an effort to disrupt supply chains and make it more difficult for Russia to resupply its military.
In addition to serving as the C.I.A. director, Mr. Burns has been repeatedly tasked by Mr. Biden to conduct delicate negotiations with the Russians.
Before Mr. Putin ordered the full-scale invasion in February, Mr. Burns — who was also a former U.S. ambassador to Russia — flew to Moscow in last November to tell Russian officials that the United States knew of Moscow’s plans and would forcefully respond to any incursion. Mr. Burns spoke by video to Mr. Putin, who was in Sochi at the time.
Ivan Nechepurenko contributed reporting.