Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov believes that Russian security services are “not happy” with the way the war in Ukraine is unfolding. He argues that Putin started the war in Ukraine by attacking his own inside the Kremlin by purging Russia’s top security chief.
Mr Soldatov told DW News: “Vladimir Putin started his war by attacking his own people and we see him attacking his foreign intelligence services than he did under house arrest for the FSB general’s domestic agency but with the foreign intelligence branch in charge of the situation in Ukraine.
“Then it was the turn of the National Guard and a deputy head of the National Guard was forced to retire and he was only 45 years old.
“So it doesn’t look very good and it sounds very, very different from the previous wars that Vladimir Putin had.
“It caused a lot of confusion within the security services and the people in it were not very happy with the ongoing war and they blamed only one person, Vladimir Putin for it.”
A US official said Wednesday, citing unclassified intelligence. that Putin was misled by advisers who were too afraid to tell him how bad the war in Ukraine was and how damaging Western sanctions were.
Russia’s February 24 invasion of its southern neighbor has been halted on most fronts by fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces who have retaken territory even as civilians are trapped in besieged cities.
“We have information that Putin feels misled by the Russian military,” which led him to distrust the military leadership, said the US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“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,” the official said.
The Kremlin did not immediately comment after the end of the working day in Moscow, and the Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Military analysts say Russia has reframed its war goals in Ukraine in a way that could make it easier for Putin to claim a face-saving victory despite a woeful campaign in which his troops have suffered humiliating setbacks.
Russian troops bombarded the capital Kyiv and northern Chernihiv on Wednesday, a day after Russia pledged to scale back military operations in the two cities.
“We believe that Putin was misunderstood by his advisers about how badly Russia’s military is performing and how Russia’s economy is being crippled by sanctions because his senior advisers are too afraid to tell the truth,” the official said.
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Russia said it was carrying out “special operations” to disarm and “denazify” its neighbors. Western countries say Moscow launched the invasion without reason.
Russia’s defense ministry said on Wednesday that its troops were regrouping near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv to focus on other key areas and complete the “liberation” of the breakaway Donbas region, Russian news agencies reported.
The ministry’s statement came a day after Russia said it would scale back operations near Kyiv and Chernihiv to support progress in peace talks.
But Russian attacks in both locations continued on Wednesday, according to reports from nearby Kyiv and the mayor of Chernihiv.