Some of the areas Russia said it was looking to de-escalate things by pulling troops back saw more shelling on Wednesday, making people wonder if Russia was genuine in the first place. But because Ukraine and the West had already cast doubt on Russia’s honesty about pulling back, they weren’t too surprised.
Meanwhile, the White House said it has intelligence showing Putin had been “misled” by some of his military advisors about just how bad the situation was for Russian troops in Ukraine because they were too afraid to tell their boss the truth.
“We have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military which has resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership,” White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said in a briefing Wednesday. “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.”
Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, a spokesman for the Ukrainian defense ministry, said in a video statement that there had been “a certain partial movement of individual units from the Kyiv direction, as well as from the Chernigiv direction.” He later added, “We do not observe the mass removal of Russian troops from these areas.”
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