US believes Putin’s advisers are scared to tell him the truth

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A little earlier, before the UK spy chief gave his assessment of the situation in Ukraine, there were briefings in the US setting out similar thoughts.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Russian President Vladimir Putin has not been fully informed by his Ministry of Defence on the failures of his army in Ukraine over the last month.

He called the assessments “discomforting” because an uninformed Putin could result in a “less than faithful” effort at ending the conflict through peace negotiations.

“The other thing is, you don’t know how a leader like that is going to react to getting bad news,” he said.

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The White House said Putin’s advisors are too scared to tell him how badly the war in Ukraine is going and is not hearing about the full impact of sanctions on the Russian economy.

Kate Bedingfield said the US had information that Mr Putin “felt misled by the Russian military” and this had resulted in “persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership”.

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