“Enduring tension” has reportedly been growing between Russia’s military leadership and President Vladimir Putin, who US intelligence says feels misled after repeated setbacks in Ukraine.
White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said the administration had “information” about the split between Putin and his advisers, but did not present the evidence underlying the allegation.
“We believe that Putin is misinformed by his advisers about the poor performance of the Russian military and how the Russian economy is crippled by sanctions, because his senior advisers are too afraid to tell him the truth,” he said. she told House’s daily White Briefing.
“So it’s increasingly clear that Putin’s war was a strategic mistake, which left Russia weaker in the long run and increasingly isolated on the world stage.”
His comments mirror previously anonymous reports from US officials, who said there was a clear break in the flow of accurate information to the Kremlin.
“Putin didn’t even know his army was using and losing conscripts in Ukraine,” the official said. The hill.
While Joe Biden told reporters during a vaccine photo op that he “cannot” comment on the tension in Putin’s ranks, the claims have been repeated by both the State Department, the Pentagon and British government officials.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a briefing in Algeria that the news was a symptom of the “Achilles heel” of an autocracy, where people cannot speak truth to power.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby added that it was “disturbing” that Putin could not “fully understand how his forces are failing” in Ukraine.
“It’s his army,” Kirby said, according to at the Washington Post. “It’s his war. He chose it. … And certainly, one of the results of that could be a less than faithful effort to negotiate some sort of settlement here. If he is not fully informed of his poor results, how will his negotiators achieve a lasting agreement?
Exactly how the Russian military fares, badly or otherwise, is shrouded in the fog of war and competing narratives. According to the head of Britain’s intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Mr Putin “massively misjudged” the situation.
The head of Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency, Sir Jeremy Fleming, will use a rare public address in Australia on Thursday to describe how demoralized Russian soldiers behave – from shooting down their own plane and sabotaging their own equipment to refusal to carry out orders.
The pre-published text of his remarks appeared in UK media outlets Sky News and The Guardian say Russian cyber attackers are “looking for targets” beyond Ukraine in countries that oppose Mr Putin’s invasion.
He is expected to add that mercenaries from the private Wagner military group are preparing to send more people to fight in Ukraine, which Mr Putin would likely use as “cannon fodder” to limit military casualties.
“We have seen Russian soldiers – strapped for weapons and morale – refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft,” his comments read.
“And while we believe Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth, what is going on and the extent of these misjudgments should be crystal clear to the regime,” the comments continued.