Putin believes Russian military misled him, US official says

US intelligence officials have determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin was misinformed by his advisers about the poor performance of Kremlin troops in Ukrainereported The Associated Press and confirmed CBS News.

A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the recently declassified intelligence, said on Wednesday that the intelligence discovery indicates that Putin is aware of the situation regarding the information reaching him and that he There are now lingering tensions between him and senior Russian military officials. President Biden, in an exchange with reporters, made no comment. Later Wednesday, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield also wouldn’t say whether the president had approved the release of the information.

But the administration hopes that disclosing the discovery could help Putin reconsider his options in Ukraine. The war has degenerated into blood deadlock in much of the countrywith heavy casualties and Russian troop morale plummeting as Ukrainian forces and volunteers put up a surprisingly strong defense.

However, the publicity risks further isolating Putin, who US officials say appears at least partly motivated by a desire to regain Russian prestige lost by the fall of the Soviet Union.

The Pentagon agrees with the intelligence community’s conclusion that Putin “has not been fully briefed” by the Department of Defense “at every turn” over the past month. Defense Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday it was “disturbing” that he might not have the full picture. “It’s his war. He chose it,” Kirby said. “So the fact that he may not have the full context, that he may not understand how his forces are failing in Ukraine – it’s a bit embarrassing to be honest with you.”

Kirby went on to say that his lack of all the necessary context could affect the negotiations.

“If he’s not informed, how are his negotiators going to come to an agreement? You also don’t know how such a leader is going to react,” Kirby said.

In Algeria on Wednesday, when asked about reports that Putin felt misled by his defense ministers, Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not directly confirm the story, but he told reporters that ” one of the achilles heels of autocracies is you don’t have people in those systems who speak truth to power or don’t have the ability to speak truth to power. And I think that’s something that we see in Russia.

Also on Wednesday, President Biden spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for about 55 minutes and told him that $500 million in additional direct aid for Ukraine was on the way. This is the last installment of American aid as the Russian invasion continues.

The two men also reviewed the security aid already provided to Ukraine and the effects of weaponry on the war, according to the White House.

The unidentified official did not detail the underlying evidence on how US intelligence came to their decision.

The intelligence community concluded that Putin was unaware that his army had used – and lost – conscripts in Ukraine. And he also determined that he was not fully aware of the extent to which the Russian economyRussia’s economy is collapsing even as its stock market reopens is damaged by the economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.

The results demonstrate a “clear break in the flow of accurate information” to Putin and show that Putin’s top advisers are “afraid to tell him the truth”, the official said.

Zelesnkyy has pressed the Biden administration and Western allies to supply Ukraine with military jets, something the US and other NATO nations have so far refused to accept over fears it will. lead to an expansion of Russia’s war beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Before Wednesday’s announcement of $500 million in aid, the Biden administration had sent about $2 billion in humanitarian and security assistance to Ukraine since the war began in late February.

It’s part of the $13.6 billion Congress approved earlier this month for Ukraine in a larger spending bill. The House and Senate will receive classified briefings on Ukraine on Wednesday.

The new information came after the White House on Tuesday expressed skepticism over Russia’s public announcement that it would recall operations near kyiv in a bid to boost confidence in ongoing talks between Ukrainian officials. and Russians in Turkey.

And Ukrainian officials say Russia has continued shelling near kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv despite Russia’s claim that it would scale back operations “to increase mutual trust” for the peace talks.

The Pentagon said Wednesday that in the past 24 hours it has seen Russian troops in areas around kyiv moving north or into Belarus. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in interviews with CNN and Fox Business that the United States does not see this as a withdrawal, but rather as an attempt by Russia to resupply, refit and then reposition its troops. .

Putin has long been viewed outside of Russia as an insular person and surrounded by officials who don’t always tell him the truth. US officials have said publicly that they believe a limited flow of information – perhaps exacerbated by Putin’s increased isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic – may have given the Russian president an unrealistic view of the speed with which he could invade Ukraine.

The Biden administration before the war launched an unprecedented effort to publish what he believed to be Putin’s invasion plans, based on intelligence findings. As Russia continued to invade, the White House was widely credited with drawing attention to Ukraine and pushing initially reluctant allies to support harsh sanctions that decimated Russia’s economy.

But underscoring intelligence limitations, the United States also underestimated Ukraine’s willingness to fight before the invasion, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in a briefing. recent testimony before Congress.

Sara Cook, Eleanor Watson and Bo Erickson contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.