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Kremlin denies US, UK claims that Putin ‘misled’ over Ukraine

The Kremlin on Thursday denied US and British claims that President Vladimir Putin's advisers are scared of giving him a true picture of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 17, 2020, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov sits in front of a screen displaying Russian President Vladimir Putin addressing his annual press conference via a video link from the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, at the World Trade Centre’s congress centre in Moscow. – Russia would only use nuclear weapons in the context of the Ukraine conflict if it were facing an “existential threat,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN International on March 22, 2022. (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP)

The Kremlin on Thursday denied US and British claims that President Vladimir Putin’s advisers are scared of giving him a true picture of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

Putin launched the military operation in Ukraine on February 24 citing the “genocide” of Russian speakers there and accusing the pro-Western country of close ties with NATO.

“This shows that neither the Department of State nor the Pentagon have real information about what is happening in the Kremlin,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

“They don’t understand President Putin, they don’t understand the mechanism for taking decisions and they don’t understand the style of our work,” he added.

Britain’s GCHQ spy agency chief, Jeremy Fleming, said Thursday that “Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth” about the Russian military’s progress and the degree of Ukrainian resistance.

The White House earlier gave a briefing on declassified intelligence which found that Putin’s relations with his staff had deteriorated.

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said Putin “felt misled by the Russian military”.

The reports could not be independently confirmed.

Peskov said that “it was not just a pity” that such claims were made, but “it causes concern, because such complete non-understanding is what leads to mistaken decisions, to hasty decisions that have very bad consequences”.