The Wall Street Journal told US officials that the exchange of accusations began within Russia’s defense and intelligence agencies as the campaign, which Moscow hoped to culminate in a swift takeover of the Ukrainian capital, turned into a costly and deadly quagmire. shameful.
Current and former US officials point out that Russian intelligence agencies are often reluctant to tell their superiors bad news and may have reinforced Putin’s publicly expressed views.
These accusations, which have extended to the arrest of at least one top Russian intelligence official, do not appear to pose a direct threat to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s iron grip on power, but US officials are watching the plots closely. .
An American official spoke about reliable reports about the placement of a commander in the foreign intelligence unit of the Federal Security Service “FIB”, Sergey Beseda, under house arrest, noting that a major dispute had broken out between the Federal Security Service and the Russian Defense Ministry. , two main government units charged with preparing for the February 24 invasion.
CIA Director William Burns told Congress earlier this month that Putin planned to seize kyiv within two days, suggesting he expected little resistance.
Instead, Russian forces faced fierce Ukrainian counterattacks, and their ground advance was halted this week amid mounting casualties. The Ukrainian government announced the deaths of four Russian generals, and some US government accounts put the number of soldiers killed in combat as high as 7,000.
Ukraine is a dysfunctional country
Russian intelligence agencies were often reluctant to tell their superiors bad news, current and former US officials noted, and may have reinforced Putin’s publicly expressed views that Ukraine was a dysfunctional country whose leadership would quickly collapse, with some of its citizens welcoming the Russian troops.
“It’s hard to imagine a top intelligence official talking to Putin without telling him what he’d like to hear, especially if it’s a strong belief, like Putin’s on Ukraine,” said Jeffrey Edmonds, a former CIA official.
Putin blames Federal Security
Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov claimed that Putin can blame the FSB for not having caused the rapid collapse of the Ukrainian government that he had hoped for, adding that Putin was absolutely certain that he understood Ukraine well and expected his agencies to do basic work like as developing political groups that could provide support for the Russian invasion.
Soldatov added that the Russian leader also suspected that the FSB was leaking information, given US intelligence agencies’ detailed knowledge of the Russian invasion plan, some of which were announced by Washington.