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Kremlin insider tells Putin directly he disagrees with handling of Ukraine war efforts: report

A close adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the Russian leader directly that he disagrees with the way that Russia’s war on Ukraine has been handled, according to U.S. intelligence.

Officials anonymously told The Washington Post that the disagreement was detailed in President Biden’s daily intelligence briefing on Thursday, although they withheld the name of the Kremlin insider who took issue with Putin’s leadership of the war.

The Putin ally, whose identity is known to U.S. intelligence, said that the attack on Ukraine had been mismanaged, especially disputing the Kremlin’s recent order for the mobilization of troops from the civilian population.

“Since the start of the occupation we have witnessed growing alarm from a number of Putin’s inner circle,” an official told the Post.

“Our assessments suggest they are particularly exercised by recent Russian losses, misguided direction and extensive military shortcomings.”

Another official added that “a lot of people” in the Russian government “are convinced this isn’t going well or the right course of action.”

The disagreement is “consistent with the way in which the campaign has gone for the Russians, and the atmospherics in the Kremlin,” that senior intelligence official said.

However, sources assured the Post that while loyalty to Putin may be waning, his leadership of Russia remains well-established and unlikely to be usurped.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that there had been disagreements over issues, including the draft, but denied that a close adviser to Putin had challenged his leadership.

The reports to U.S. intelligence are “absolutely not true,” Peskov told the Post, although some debate is “part of the usual working process.”

“There are working arguments: about the economy, about the conduct of the military operation. There are arguments about the education system,” he said.

“This is part of the normal working process, and it is not a sign of any split.”

The Hill has contacted the CIA for comment on the reports.

Tags Biden Biden Dmitry Peskov Kremlin putin russia ukraine Vladimir Putin
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