The US believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being "misinformed" by his advisers about how badly the Russian military is performing in Ukraine and the impact of sanctions on Russia's economy, a US official tells CNN.
"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," a US official said.
The official said the assessment is based on declassified US intelligence findings.
The official added that the US has information indicating that Putin has become aware of the misinformation, leading to a rift between Putin and his top defense officials.
“We have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military. There is now persistent tension between Putin and the (Ministry of Defence), stemming from Putin’s mistrust in MOD leadership," the US official said.
The official said Putin did not know his military was "using and losing conscripts in Ukraine, showing a clear breakdown in the flow of accurate information to the Russian president."