US Has No Idea What's Going on in the Kremlin: Russia Brushes off Claim 'Putin Not Fully Informed'
10:17 GMT 31.03.2022 (Updated: 10:54 GMT 05.03.2023)
© POOL / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony in the Kremlin. File photo.
On Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby suggested that President Putin may have "not been fully informed by his ministry of defence at every turn" in the course of the Russian-led military operation in Ukraine. Kirby did not provide any further information to back up this claim.
The Pentagon does not have sufficient information on what's going on in the Kremlin to make judgement calls about what President Putin is or isn't informed about, presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov has said.
"To our regret, and, in fact, probably also to our concern, it turns out that neither the State Department nor the Pentagon have any real information about what's going on in the Kremlin. They simply don't understand what's going on in the Kremlin, they don't understand President Putin, they don't understand the mechanism for how decisions are taken, and they don't understand the style of our work," Peskov said, speaking a briefing with reporters on Thursday.
"This is not only a pity, but a cause for concern, because it is precisely this sort of complete misunderstanding that leads to erroneous decisions, reckless decisions which have very bad consequences," Peskov said.
Peskov's comments follow a flurry of statements by US officials over the past 24 hours about the extent to which the Russian president has or hasn't been informed about the operation in Ukraine and other matters.
On Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby suggested that Putin had "not been fully informed" by the Russian military "at every turn," and "concurred" with press reports citing anonymous officials claiming that Putin had been "misinformed" by advisors on the Russian military's performance in Ukraine, and about the impact of anti-Russian sanctions.
"I've seen these press reports attributed to a US official, and we would concur with the basic finding, but we are not going to get any more specific than that," Kirby said.
Separately on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cited "newly released intelligence" suggesting that Putin's advisors were "not telling him the truth about how Russian forces are faring in Ukraine" and not "speaking truth to power."
Also on Wednesday, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said that the administration had "information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military, which has resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership." When asked to provide details, Bedingfield said she doesn't "speak for the Kremlin" and that these were not questions she could "speak to from this podium."
US officials' comments follow a string of reports in US media and news agencies citing unnamed officials and intelligence personnel claiming that Putin had been "misled" by "fearful advisors" on Ukraine and other matters.