Kyiv: US intelligence has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was angry after being “misled” by his own military, even as fighting continued on Wednesday in Ukraine. This, despite Russia indicating that it was planning to deescalate hostilities.
US officials said on Wednesday that Putin was angry that the truth was being shielded from him.
Citing US intelligence, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said “he felt misled by the Russian military”.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was “persistent tension” between Putin and his military staff, with the president now having “mistrust” in his generals.
Any hopes that talks in Istanbul could lead to some kind of peace in Ukraine went up in smoke as a battles continued, with Russia bombing more civilian areas and Ukrainian fighters advancing.
The UN has estimated that there are as many as four million refugees even as Russia showed no signs of pulling back, as promised during the discussions on Tuesday, from Chernigiv and Kyiv.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation, saying “we don’t believe anyone”, and vowed that Ukrainians would continue fighting “for every metre of our territory”.
There was some respite for civilians caught in the Russian shellings in Mariupol after the Russian defense ministry said it had agreed to a Ukrainian proposal to open temporary evacuation corridors. The ministry said a local ceasefire would take effect at 10:00 am (0700 GMT) on Thursday in Mariupol.
As Russia’s attacks on areas that are heavily populated continued, UN Human Rights Council head said “indiscriminate attacks are prohibited under international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes”.
Over a month after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, Ukrainian forces have inflicted heavy casualties and destroyed many Russian aircraft and tanks with the help of weapons donated by the US and European.
Along with the fighting taking place on the ground, Moscow has been hit by an unprecedented number of Western sanctions with the intention of destabalising the ruble, blocking imports like oil and gas, and punishing the Russian political and social elite.