By Richard Moorhead March 30, 2022 at 2:04pm
The Russian invasion of Ukraine drew condemnation from across the world.
World leaders questioned how Vladimir Putin thought he’d get away with invading a sovereign country without consequences.
Claims from US intelligence officials may explain how deception and dishonesty from his own military played into his decision to invade.
The unnamed officials told two White House journalists that Putin had been misled over the Russian military’s capabilities and performance in Ukraine.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and NBC’s Peter Alexander reported on the assessment from US intelligence on Wednesday.
US official says Putin is being misinformed about how poorly Russian military is doing because advisers “are too afraid to tell him the truth.” Putin “didn’t even know his military was using and losing conscripts…showing a clear breakdown in the flow of accurate information.”
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) March 30, 2022
Persistent mistrust is said to color Putin’s relationship with his own Ministry of Defense.
NEW: “We have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military,” the U.S. official tells me. “There is now persistent tension between Putin and the MOD (Ministry of Defense), stemming from Putin’s mistrust in MOD leadership.”
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) March 30, 2022
Russian government officials, including Putin himself, suggested they expected the invasion of Ukraine to be a cakewalk.
It’s possible that the Russian military assured Putin they’d be able to quickly dominate Ukraine, an assertion since proved to be false.
Putin urged Ukrainian troops to remove the country’s leaders from power when announcing the “special military operation.”
Instead, fierce resistance has inflicted thousands of lethal casualties among the poorly motivated Russian invaders.
Russian troops have captured only one major Ukrainian city, with a counter-offensive in the city of Kherson devastating a Russian helicopter unit at an occupied airbase.
Other elements of Russia’s bungled invasion have revealed a picture of incompetence, poor communication and lack of logistic planning.
Ukraine has shown a capacity to wage offensive operations against the enemy more than a month after the invasion, striking a munitions depot inside Russia this week.
Russian “cannon fodder” conscript soldiers were sent to Ukraine, even after Putin promised the Russian public that only contract servicemen would be deployed to the dangerous combat zone.
Russian officials announced this week that the invasion would be “refocused” on the contested Donbas region, in an embarrassing withdrawal of Russian troops from the heart of Ukraine and the capital of Kyiv.