The Pentagon confirmed on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not “fully briefed” by his advisors at the Defense Ministry on the course of operations on Ukrainian territory.
“As we try not to hack into intelligence, we agree with the conclusion that Putin was not fully briefed by the Department of Defense over the past month,” his spokesman John Kirby told a news conference.
This information, first released by a senior US official, was described by Kirby as a “concern” for the allies and Ukraine. “If Putin is misinformed about what is going on. The fact that he doesn’t have the full context, that he doesn’t fully understand the extent to which his forces are failing in Ukraine, is a bit troubling,” he said.
In that regard, regarding Moscow’s movements on the ground, the Pentagon has seen that “less than 20 percent” of Russian troops that were near Kyiv moved north as they “repositioned” in Belarus with it they can be re-equipped for possible actions in Russia’s eastern Ukraine.
According to US broadcaster ABC, Kirby has pointed out that Russian troops were seen near Hostomel Airport, north of the city, moving north towards Belarus. The Pentagon spokesman has clarified that he used the term “reposition” intentionally.
“If the Russians are serious about de-escalation, because they said so, they should send them (the troops) home (…) They will raise these troops again, resupply them and use them in other parts of Ukraine,” he repeated.
In addition, the Pentagon spokesman has stated that around 1,000 mercenaries from the Russian military group Wagner Group are in the Donbass region of Ukraine. “We believe this is a reflection of the very tough fighting that is ongoing there and Putin’s desire to step up his efforts,” he said, as reported by The Hill.