Putin being lied to by own advisers: US defense official

Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misled by advisers and doesn’t understand how badly his own warfare goes, a US defense official stated on Wednesday.

The struggling strongman is being lied to by his inside circle about every part from army losses to the economic system, an unnamed US official stated, citing lately declassified intelligence.

US intelligence means that Putin was unaware of the extent to which his military was counting on — and dropping — conscripted troopers, the official informed The Associated Press. The Russian chief has additionally been given an unrealistically rosy evaluation of Russian markets as his advisers downplay the impact of Western sanctions on their economic system.

The official stated Putin is now conscious he’s being misled, which is inflicting pressure between the president and his high army officers.

There’s a “clear breakdown in the flow of accurate information” to Putin, the official stated, and the Russian president’s senior advisers are “afraid to tell him the truth.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby didn’t present any additional particulars on Wednesday, however he stated the Defense Department agreed with the intelligence evaluation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin pictured in a meeting on March 29.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in a gathering on March 29.
SPUTNIK/AFP through Getty Images

“It’s his military — it’s his war, he chose it,” Kirby stated of Putin. “The fact that he may not have all the context, that he may not fully understand the degree to which his forces are failing in Ukraine, that’s a little discomforting.”

“If he’s not totally knowledgeable of how poorly he’s doing, then how are his negotiators going to provide you with an settlement that’s enduring, or one which respects Ukrainian sovereignty?

“You don’t know how a leader like that is going to react to getting bad news,” he added. “It’s disconcerting.”

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov meet with Putin in Moscow on Feb. 27.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov meet with Putin in Moscow on Feb. 27.
through REUTERS

US officers didn’t present any underlying proof for the competition that Putin is being misled.

The information got here as:

  • Russian troops started to withdraw from the defunct Chernobyl nuclear facility. The website, which was taken on the primary day of the invasion, is 10 miles from the Belarusian border, the place US officers imagine Russian troops could also be going for a refit and resupply.
  • President Biden pledged one other $500 million in direct assist to Ukraine on Wednesday.
  • Slovakia has joined the ranks of European powers expelling Russian diplomats — or spies working underneath diplomatic cowl. The nation’s international minister introduced Wednesday that it was scaling again the scale of Russia’s diplomatic mission by 35 folks.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated Western nations shouldn’t carry sanctions on Russia till all of Moscow’s troops have left Ukraine. Johnson stated a cease-fire wouldn’t be sufficient, and the G-7 ought to “intensify sanctions with a rolling program until every single one of [Putin’s] troops is out of Ukraine.”
  • Putin informed his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, that the shelling of besieged port metropolis Mariupol will finish solely when Ukrainian troops give up. The Pentagon stated Wednesday that it believed Russian troops have been getting shut to town heart. 
  • The UN human rights chief says her workplace is trying into allegations that some residents of Mariupol have been forcibly evacuated to areas managed by Russian forces or to Russia itself.
  • Russian forces struck a Red Cross facility in Mariupol, Ukraine has claimed.
  • Ramzan Kadyrov, the Prada-wearing alleged warfare felony on the head of Russia’s republic of Chechnya, stated on Wednesday that Moscow would make no concessions in its warfare in Ukraine.

Russian forces continued to assault the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv early Wednesday as a small variety of Russian items withdrew — mere hours after Moscow pledged to “increase mutual trust” by de-escalating its army presence round those self same cities.

A spherical of Russian shelling hit a slew of civilian websites, together with residential areas and at the least one library, Ukrainian officers stated on Wednesday. The assaults got here, alongside renewed Russian aggression within the japanese Donbas area.

Russia claimed on Tuesday that it could “radically” scale back its assaults round Kyiv and Chernihiv as a goodwill gesture amid the peace talks lately convened in Istanbul. But in a single day, civilian infrastructure was focused, stated Viacheslav Chaus, regional governor of the Chernihiv Oblast.

“Given that the talks on the preparation of an agreement on the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Ukraine have moved into a practical field … a decision has been made to radically, by several times, reduce the military activity in the areas of Kyiv and Chernihiv,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin had stated.

A Russian tank soldier surrenders to the Ukrainian military.
A Russian tank soldier surrenders to the Ukrainian army.
Facebook/Viktor Andrusiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky replied Tuesday, “you can trust only concrete results.”

“The so-called reduction of activity in the Chernihiv region was demonstrated by the enemy strikes, including airstrikes on Nizhyn, and all night long they were shelling Chernihiv,” Chaus stated.

He stated properties, buying facilities and libraries have been hit within the assault.

Ukrainian officers stated Russian forces additionally continued to shell the Bucha, Brovary and Vyshhorod areas round Kyiv, focusing on civilian infrastructure.

The Pentagon stated Wednesday that Russia had pulled fewer than 20% of its forces away from the 2 northern metropolis facilities, with the rest persevering with to maintain defensive positions.  

Defense spokesman John Kirby stated a small variety of items have been headed north towards Belarus, the place the American officers anticipate they are going to be refitted and resupplied earlier than being deployed elsewhere in Ukraine.

“We have seen none of them repositioned to their home garrison,” Kirby stated. “And that’s not a small point.”

Armoured vehicles of pro-Russian troops drive along a road in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on March 25.
Armored autos of pro-Russian troops drive alongside a street within the Donetsk area of Ukraine on March 25.

“If the Russians were really serious about deescalating — the way they spun this yesterday, that they’re trying to take the pressure off — well then send them home,” Kirby stated.

Meanwhile, Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk — a contested metropolis within the japanese Donbas area — claimed a Ukrainian missile destroyed a part of an house block, killing two.

The Kremlin has stated it plans to focus future operations on the Donbas. The Pentagon stated Wednesday that it believes 1,000 mercenaries with Russia’s ruthless Wagner Group have already been devoted to the separatist area. 

Fighting continued within the battered southern port of Mariupol as effectively, on Wednesday, with the Pentagon assessing that Russian troops have been getting shut to town heart.

As negotiations continued, Russian negotiator Vladimir Medinsky stated that Ukraine’s supply of formal neutrality and a pledge to not be part of NATO met a key Kremlin demand, shifting peace talks ahead.

Zelensky’s workplace clarified Wednesday that any peace supply wouldn’t be put to a vote of the Ukrainian folks till all Russian forces withdrew to their pre-invasion positions.

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