Russian soldiers are disobeying orders in Ukraine as tensions grow between Putin and the Russian military: the White House has said.
The United States has claimed it has information that tensions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his military are growing.
“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.
“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.
In addition, the British defence ministry has said heavy losses have forced some Russian units to return to Belarus and Russia to regroup.
Demoralized Russian soldiers were refusing to carry out orders and sabotaging their own equipment and had accidentally shot down their own aircraft, a UK intelligence chief said on Thursday.
Jeremy Fleming, who heads the GCHQ electronic spy agency, made the remarks at a speech in the Australian capital, Canberra.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had apparently “massively misjudged” the invasion, he said.
“It’s clear he misjudged the resistance of the Ukrainian people. He underestimated the strength of the coalition his actions would galvanize. He underplayed the economic consequences of the sanctions regime, and he overestimated the abilities of his military to secure a rapid victory,” Fleming said.
“We’ve seen Russian soldiers, short of weapons and morale, refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft,” he added.
Although Putin’s advisers were believed to be too afraid to tell the truth, the “extent of these misjudgments must be crystal clear to the regime,” he said.