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Kremlin Denies U.S., U.K. Claims That Putin 'Misled' Over Ukraine

Oleg Tokarev (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Kremlin on Thursday denied U.S. 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 Feb. 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."

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