Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misled by advisers and doesn’t know how poorly his own war is going, a US defense official said Wednesday.
The struggling strongman is being lied to by his inner circle about everything from military losses to the economy, an unnamed US official said, citing recently declassified intelligence.
US intelligence suggests that Putin was unaware of the extent to which his army was relying on — and losing — conscripted soldiers, the official said.
The Russian leader has also been given an unrealistically rosy assessment of Russian markets as his advisers downplay the effect of Western sanctions on their economy
The official also said Putin is now aware he’s being misled, which is causing tension between the president and his top military officials.
There’s a “clear breakdown in the flow of accurate information” to Putin, the official said, with the Russian president’s senior advisers “afraid to tell him the truth.”
The official did not provide any underlying evidence for how US intelligence made its determination.
With Post wires