The White House says that intelligence shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin has not been properly informed about the progress Russia's military is making in Ukraine and the effect that international sanctions have had on Russia's economy.
On Wednesday, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said, “We have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military which has resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership.”
Bedingfield continued by saying, “We believe that Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about how badly the Russian 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.”
As Bloomberg reported, Bedingfield wouldn't elaborate further on the U.S. intelligence, citing the possibility of compromising sources and methods.
According to the New York Times, a U.S. official with knowledge of the matter said there is now "persistent tension” between Putin and Russia's Defense Ministry. Russian officials have also reportedly offered contradicting progress assessments amid peace talks, leading to mixed signals coming from the Kremlin.
U.S. intelligence has reportedly shown that there is increasing mistrust between Russia's president and military leadership, including Sergei Shoigu, once among the Russian president's trusted Kremlin inner circle.