Russian President Vladimir Putin pictured on the Kerch Bridge on Monday. Kremlin  

The Guardian: Vladimir Putin better informed now about Ukraine war, says US  

Russian president not as insulated from bad news as earlier in campaign, claims intelligence chief 

The head of US intelligence has said Vladimir Putin has “become better informed” about the difficulties facing his invading forces in Ukraine, as the Kremlin suggested the Russian president could visit the occupied Donbas region at a future unspecified date. 

Speaking at a defence forum late on Saturday, Avril Haines, the US director of national intelligence, indicated Putin was no longer as insulated from bad news about the conditions facing his invasion of Ukraine as he was earlier in the campaign.  

Read more …. 

Update #1: Putin is increasingly aware of how poorly his military is doing in Ukraine, US intel chief says (Business Insider)

Update #2: Russia-Ukraine war: Putin ‘becoming more informed’ about challenges, U.S. intel chief says (Yahoo News)  

WNU Editor: Russian President Putin was always focused on the war, and I doubt that he was deliberately fed bad information or intel. Where he miscalculated was on his belief that Zelensky would fold, and that most Ukrainians would not want to fight this war. With hindsight. There was no way in hell that 26,000 Russian soldiers at the start of the war would be successful in seizing a massive city like Kyiv with its millions of inhabitants. The goal was to force Zelensky to negotiate.

To say that Putin miscalculated is an understatement. 

After withdrawing from the suburbs of Kyiv the priority was to establish a land bridge to Crimea, which was done by June, and to then figure out what to do next. On reflection. These were the right decisions that had to be made by Putin.

Putin’s problem was that many Russian pundits and others in the government were critical of him over his hesitancy on what to do next. There are many reasons why one hesitates. But in this case I think he just did not want to escalate the war into something bigger.

So what changed? And was it because Putin was becoming better informed?

I think the reality of the war on the ground and NATO’s open involvement in the conflict is what changed Putin’s war policy. And change is what happened. An overall commander of the war was appointed, and the green-light was given to call-up 320,000+ reservists, while registering everyone else. Regions that have been occupied since the start of the war were abandoned to deploy forces elsewhere. And more importantly. It was during this time that the Russian Duma formally annex 4 regions of Ukraine into the Russian Federation. The Russian economy was also put on a war footing. 

All of these changes indicate to me that the people at the top are focused, and they are assessing the situation on  the ground all the time while making changes when new information becomes available. I also notice that Putin is always in the loop when a major change is announced. And he does sound very well informed on what is happening.

I should also add that there is also a lot of information on the war on Russian social media. From what I see and read on these platforms is eye-opening. Everyone is remarkably well informed …. on both the good and bad of the war. If these people are informed as much as they are, I am sure Putin is also well informed, if not more so.

One more final note. Since these changes Putin has also changed. He is the public more often, and most statements from the Kremlin are focused on the war and its impact on Russia.There is no question in my mind that information is not being filtered to Putin. Besides …. IMHO it is now impossible for them to hide it from him if they wanted to.