United States intelligence officials have established that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being mislead by his advisers about the conduct of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, according to a senior official from the United States government.
He spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday in order to reveal a recently declassified intelligence assessment that Putin had been misled by the Russian military, adding that there is now persistent conflict between Putin and top Russian defense officials.
The official did not provide any specifics on the facts that led to the conclusion reached by U.S. intelligence.
However, the intelligence community has concluded that Putin was not aware that the Ukrainian military was using and losing conscripts during the conflict. The United States and its allies have also established that Putin is not completely aware of the extent to which economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies are damaging the Russian economy.
Officials say the findings reflect a “clear breakdown in the flow of correct information” to Putin and demonstrate that Putin’s closest advisers are “afraid to tell him the truth,” according to the official.
In response to Russia’s public announcement on Tuesday that it will scale back activities near Kyiv in an effort to improve trust in continuing discussions between Ukrainian and Russian officials in Turkey, the White House expressed doubt.
“It’ll be interesting,” Biden replied when asked about the announcement. In the meanwhile, I’m not making any assumptions based on their conduct.
Russian military bombarded locations near Ukraine’s capital and another city overnight, according to regional authorities on Wednesday morning.
In a statement, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield stated that the administration considers any transfer of Russian forces to be a “redeployment, not a withdrawal,” and that “no one should be misled” by Russia’s announcement.
On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the latest developments in the war.
Putin has always been regarded as reclusive and surrounded by bureaucrats who do not always tell him the truth by those outside of the country. Officials from the United States have stated publicly that they believe the limited flow of information –– which may have been exacerbated by Putin’s increased isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic –– may have given the Russian president unrealistic expectations about how quickly he could overrun Ukraine.
Prior to the war, the Biden administration conducted an unprecedented campaign to disclose what it considered to be Putin’s invasion intentions, based on intelligence findings, which was widely publicized. However, although Russia continued to occupy Ukraine, the White House was generally credited with bringing attention to the country and convincing originally hesitant partners to support strong sanctions that have battered the Russian economy.
However, in a recent testimony before Congress, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, stated that the United States misjudged Ukraine’s willingness to fight before the invasion, highlighting the limitations of intelligence.