The US government is "confident in" the assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been misinformed by his advisers about their military’s performance in Ukraine, according to a senior State Department official.
“It’s information we’re confident in,” the official said. “I think it’s information that we’re confident in now and it’s also information that probably had a degree of truth to it before the invasion.”
On Wednesday, the US revealed declassified intelligence showing that Putin has been misinformed by his own advisers.
“There’s only so much we can say about where this information is derived from,” the official said, declining to provide additional details on the intelligence. He explained it was necessary to protect sources and methods.
“Putin clearly seems to have thought that he could go into Ukraine, that his forces wouldn’t meet resistance, that they would be greeted warmly including in Russian speaking parts of Ukraine, that he would be able to take Kyiv in a matter of 48, 72 hours,” the official said.
“Every single element that he seems to have believed turns out to be wrong. So, whether his advisers weren’t giving him the full unvarnished truth, whether he wasn’t listening, you know … I think we’ve seen this every step of the way.”
Speaking on a visit to Morocco, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: "One of the Achilles' heels of autocracies is that you don't have people in those systems who speak truth to power or who have the ability to speak truth to power. And I think that is something that we're seeing in Russia."