Sunday, May 29, 2022

Putin being lied to by own advisers: US defense official

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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin pictured in a meeting on March 29.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting on March 29.
SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images
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.
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.
via REUTERS
A Russian tank soldier surrenders to the Ukrainian military.
A Russian tank soldier surrenders to the Ukrainian military.
Facebook/Viktor Andrusiv
Armored vehicles of pro-Russian troops drive along a road in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on March 25.
Armored vehicles of pro-Russian troops drive along a road in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on March 25.
REUTERS

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

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