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  4. Russia Ukraine war: Vladimir Putin misled by his military leadership, says US

Russia Ukraine war: Vladimir Putin misled by his military leadership, says US

Russia and Ukraine initially said the Istanbul meeting had made progress, but the Kremlin on Wednesday played down hopes of a breakthrough.

PTI Reported by: PTI Washington Updated on: March 31, 2022 10:32 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Wednesday,
Image Source : AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

Highlights

  • US claimed tension is brewing between Putin and his military leadership
  • White House described Putin’s war in Ukraine a 'strategic blunder'
  • White House said that the war has weakened Russia and isolated it on the world stage

The United States has information that Russian President Vladimir Putin felt misled by his military, the White House said Wednesday adding that the Ukraine war has been a strategic blunder.

"What I can say is, of course, we have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military, which has resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership," White House Press Secretary Kate Bedingfield told reporters at her daily news conference.

"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 advisors are too afraid to tell him the truth," she said.

"So, it is increasingly clear that Putin's war has been a strategic blunder that has left Russia weaker over the long term, and increasingly isolated on the world stage," she said.

From the outset that Russia made an aggressive push toward Kiev at the beginning of the invasion. They are now publicly trying to redefine the goals of their invasion to be different than they were at the outset, she noted when asked about some declassified American intelligence information that Putin had bad information from his military.

"What does that mean for the war in Ukraine and the prospects for negotiations right now?" she was asked.

"I think putting forward this information simply contributes to a sense that this has been a strategic error for them. Again, I'm not going to characterize what they are thinking. I'm certainly not going to characterize how they may or may not use this information to make decisions. That's not my place. But I do think that making this information public contributes to an understanding that this has been a strategic failure for Russia. Obviously, we will continue to pursue our strategy of imposing severe costs on Russia, and trying to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table," Bedingfield said.

She reiterated that President Joe Biden has not been advocating for a policy of regime change. 

"What he said a couple of days ago was a statement of personal moral outrage, but we do not have a formal policy of regime change. What we are doing is continuing to impose unprecedented costs on Russia," she said.

"We are ensuring that Russia is paying for this choice. Putin himself has said that the cost, the impact of the sanctions, has been significant. So, we are continuing to focus on our strategy of making sure that we are providing security assistance to Ukraine and imposing significant costs on Russia for these choices," she noted.

READ MORE: Russia shells areas in Ukraine where it vowed to scale back, including capital Kyiv

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