Russian President Vladimir Putin is personally giving orders directly to his generals on the battlefield in Ukraine, causing confusion within his military leadership, according to a new report.
CNN reported Thursday that intelligence intercepts have captured Russian military officers arguing about strategy, tactics, and Putin's decision-making from Moscow, even voicing their frustration with loved ones back home in Russia. The report cited multiple unnamed sources familiar with US intelligence.
In the face of ongoing Ukrainian advances, which appear to have taken a toll on Russian forces, top Russian officials have responded by shifting the blame from Putin and pinning the blame on others, the report said.
"Kremlin officials and state media pundits have been feverishly discussing the reasons for the failure in Kharkiv and in typical fashion, the Kremlin seems to be attempting to deflect the blame away from Putin and onto the Russian military," a senior NATO official told CNN.
Since the start of September, Ukrainian forces have liberated thousands of square miles of territory that was previously occupied by Russian troops as part of a counteroffensive in the country's south and northeast. In some cases, the speed of Ukraine's advances in the northeast Kharkiv region seemingly stunned Russian troops, forcing some to flee in panic and abandon their weaponry.