Russian Soldiers’ Morale Low: UK; Putin Being Misled By Fearful Advisers: US

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The White House said it received information that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misled by advisers who are too scared to tell him how badly his troops are waging the war in Ukraine.

At a Press Briefing Wednesday, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said that this has resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership.

“We believe that Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing and how the Russian economy is being crippled by sanctions because his senior advisors are too afraid to tell him the truth,” she told reporters.

It is increasingly clear that Putin’s war has been a strategic blunder that has left Russia weaker over the long term and increasingly isolated on the world stage, according to the senior White House official in charge of media.

Bedingfield pointed out that the Russian forces, which made an aggressive push toward Kyiv at the beginning of the invasion, are now publicly trying to redefine the goals of their invasion to be different than they were at the outset.

It reflects a strategic failure for Russia, she added.

Bedingfield vowed that Washington will continue to pursue its strategy of imposing severe costs on Russia and trying to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.

The British intelligence agency also made public a similar assessment of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Putin’s advisers are not telling him the truth about the situation on the ground, according to Sir Jeremy Fleming, the head of GCHQ.

In a speech at the Australian National University in Canberra, Fleming said he believes Russia has “massively misjudged the situation” in Ukraine and Putin’s advisers are “afraid to tell him the truth”.

“He under-played the economic consequences of the sanctions regime. He over-estimated the abilities of his military to secure a rapid victory,” Sir Fleming said.

Heavy shelling was reported overnight and Thursday in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donertsk.

President Volodymyr Zelensky had warned that Russian troops are concentrating in the eastern breakaway region of Donbas to launch new offensive.

Russia has reportedly declared a one-day ceasefire in Mariupol.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the International Committee of the Red Cross informed the Ukrainian government that Russia is ready to open a humanitarian corridor for the people of Mariupol to escape the besieged southeren port city, through Berdiansk.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced an additional tariff of 35 percent on all imports from Russia and Belarus.

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