According to the official, Putin’s advisers are “too afraid to tell the truth” about the situation in Ukraine.
They reportedly misled him about how bad the war effort was and how damaging Western sanctions were.
The US official said: “We have information that Putin feels misled by the Russian military.
“Now there are constant tensions between Putin and Mr [Ministry of Defence]stemming from Putin’s distrust of the MOD leadership.
“Putin didn’t even know his military was using and losing conscription in Ukraine, indicating a clear interruption in the flow of accurate information to the Russian president.”
“We believe that Putin was misinformed by his advisers about how badly Russia’s military is performing and how the Russian economy is being crippled by sanctions because his senior advisers are too afraid to tell him the truth.”
This comes just days after the Kremlin gave its strongest indication yet that it would scale back its invasion of Ukraine, after its invasion made limited progress.
Russia’s defense ministry said that the “first phase” of the operation had been completed, adding that it would now “focus” its “core efforts” on the Donbas region.
Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy said “the main objective of the first phase of the operation in general has been achieved”.
However, Russian troops have so far failed to capture Kyiv, although Putin has previously stated that capturing the capital and overthrowing Zelensky’s government was a goal.
UPDATES TO FOLLOW…