President-elect Vladimir Putin ahead of being sworn-in as President of Russia at St Andrew’s Hall of the Moscow Kremlin.
Mikhail Metzel | TASS via Getty Images
Russia’s Kremlin has rebuffed claims made by the US that President Vladimir Putin felt he was “misled” by his military commanders over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“To our regret and even concern neither the State Department nor the Pentagon have authentic information about what is happening in the Kremlin,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at a briefing Thursday.
“They just do not understand what is happening in the Kremlin, they do not understand Russian President Vladimir Putin, they do not understand the decision-making mechanism and they do not understand the style of our work,” Peskov added, according to state news agency TASS.
“This is not just regrettable. It causes our concern, because such utter misunderstanding results in wrong decisions, in careless decisions that have very bad consequences.”
The comments came after a declassified US intelligence assessment released Wednesday suggested that Putin had not been given the whole truth about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Statements by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield on Wednesday included comments that Putin “felt misled by the Russian military” and this had resulted in “persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership.”
Putin is thought to have expected Russian forces to be able to occupy Ukraine with some ease, with the aim of unseating the Ukrainian government and installing a pro-Russian regime as Moscow looks to expand its sphere of influence over former Soviet states.
However, Russian forces have faced staunch resistance from both Ukrainian forces and thousands of volunteer civilian fighters across the country.
To date, Russia has only captured one city, Kherson, while a much-feared assault on the capital Kyiv has yet to begin, the second-largest city Kharkiv continues to resist and the western city of Lviv remains relatively unscathed.