Putin Emotional And Erratic And May Order Scorched Earth Tactics
WASHINGTON - Current (as well as former) U.S. officials who have been briefed on the matter have reportedly told NBC News that Russian President Vladimir Putin is growing 'increasingly frustrated' and has had outbursts of emotion, such as anger at the people in his inner circle regarding the current progress of his military 'campaign' on Ukraine so far.
The current and former officials who had been briefed reportedly stated that Putin may be so frustrated with his campaign, as well as the current state of the Russian economy due to an 'unprecedented' level of global sanctions that he may see his only option to be 'doubling down' on the violence in Ukraine and may even order 'scorched earth' tactics as a result.
Senator Mark Warner, D-Va who is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee stated on MSNBC that "this is somebody that’s clearly been caught off guard by the size of the Ukrainian resistance. He has isolated himself, he’s not been in the Kremlin very much… You’ve got less and less inputs and these inputs are from sycophants".
Warner also added "I do worry that he’s been backed into a corner. I do worry that there is no obvious exit ramp".
NBC News says that Western intelligence agencies have a 'good visibility' into Putin right now and are 'closely watching' his moves for changes in his behavior according to 'several current and former officials'.
The officials told NBC that it is unusual to see Putin expressing such outbursts of emotion, or anger due to the fact that he is a former Russian intelligence officer, who would have been taught to keep his emotions in check and under control.
"He is no longer the same cold-blooded, clear-eyed dictator that he was in 2008" former CIA Director John Brennan told NBC News.
Another Western Diplomat reportedly told NBC News that Putin appears to be 'increasingly insulated and misinformed'. "The main concern is the information he’s getting and how isolated he is. The isolation is a really big concern. We don’t believe he has a realistic understanding of what’s going on." he allegedly said.
Senator Mark Rubio, R-Fla, a ranking member of the intelligence committee stated on his Twitter account that "he old Putin was a cold blooded but calculating killer. This new Putin is even more dangerous".
Rubio had also tweeted "DANGER, #Putin’s legitimacy built on image as the strong leader who restored #Russia to superpower after the disasters of the 90’s. Now the economy is in shambles & the military is being humiliated & his only tools to reestablish power balance with the West is cyber & nukes".
Brennan said that he had the same worries based on intelligence that has been released predicting the moves that Putin was going to make. "This was just such a bad, bad miscalculation on Putin’s part. He’s never faced something like this before. I’m sure he’s lashing out at advisers, ministers, and others — there may be an emotional spiral here. He’s suffered two black eyes, a bloody nose, and a series of punches. He is being crippled on the battlefield and the financial front, and he has no good options.".
Michael Kofman, an analyst at the CNA think tank told NBC that aside from the shelling around Kharkiv, Ukraine Russia has not 'unleashed' the same kind of 'concentrated artillery' and bombing that they have carried out in 'previous military actions'.
He said that the Russian military is "an artillery army first, and it has used a fraction of its available fires in this war thus far" and said "Sadly, I expect the worst is yet ahead, and this war could get a lot more ugly".
Condoleezza Rice said something similar, saying that as a former KGB operative he has always been 'calculating and cold' but now "he seems erratic. There is an ever-deepening, delusional rendering of history, it was always a kind of victimology of what had happened to them, but now it goes back to blaming Lenin for the foundation of Kyiv in Ukraine. So he’s descending into something that I personally haven’t seen before".
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who is also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee told NBC News that "Putin’s severe miscalculations are going to cost him a grave price" and that he has "become a political pariah to those he foolishly believed would support his unprovoked, premeditated invasion of Ukraine".
A defense official also stated that Russian troops are struggling to maintain their stocks of fuel and other supplies which has bogged down Putin's efforts in Ukraine, only advancing around 3 miles in the last day and still about 16 miles outside of central Kyiv, Ukraine.
We have also noticed that a lot of video footage has been released that allegedly shows Russian troops abandoning their vehicles, supposedly due to having rations that were expired, or having insufficient supplies. Many show vehicles that have been abandoned on the street due to having run out of fuel.
Vershbow, a fellow at the Atlantic Council stated "The next stage may be the scorched earth tactics that we saw in Chechnya and Syria, which would mean much more death and destruction. I don’t think they have too many scruples when it comes to this".