Many of Putin’s closest friends fueled Putin’s suspicions and fueled his dissatisfaction with the West. A former good friend likened this dynamic to the radicalization spiral of social media algorithms. Putin planned the invasion so secretly that even his spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said in an interview that he only found out about it after it began.President Putin Anton Vaino, the chief of staff of Putin, and Alexei Gromov, Putin’s influential media adviser, also said they had no prior knowledge.
The US tried to stop Ukraine from killing a top Russian general. American officials learned that General Valery Gerasimov was planning a trip to the front lines, but learned that an attempt on his life could lead to war between America and Russia. Out of concern, I withheld information from Ukrainians. In any case, Ukrainians found out about this trip. After internal debate, Washington took the unusual step of asking Ukraine to call off the attack, only to be informed that the Ukrainians had already launched it. Dozens of Russian soldiers are said to have been killed. General Gerasimov was not one of them.
A senior Russian official told CIA Director William J. Burns last month that Russia would not give up no matter how many soldiers were killed or wounded. One NATO member has warned allies that Putin could accept the casualties of as many as 300,000 Russian soldiers. Before the war, when Burns warned Russia not to invade Ukraine, another senior Russian official said the Russian military was strong enough to stand up to even the Americans.
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Days after the invasion, Mr Putin told Israeli leaders that the Ukrainians had turned out to be “more formidable than I was told”. But he warned his leader, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, that “we are a big country and we have patience.” Earlier in October 2021, during his first meeting with Bennett, Putin lashed out at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. He is an enabler of Nazism. ”
The invading Russian soldiers used cell phones to call home, allowing Ukrainian forces to find and kill them. An intercepted phone call obtained by The Times showed the bitterness Russian soldiers felt toward their commanders. “They are preparing you to be cannon fodder,” said one soldier. Another described a commander who warned him that he could be prosecuted for leaving his position, only to flee when the artillery fire began. “His wheels didn’t get stuck in the mud,” said the soldier.