Some Russian officials think invading Ukraine was 'a mistake' and are 'discouraged, frightened,' and 'making apocalyptic forecasts,' report says

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  • Some Russian officials are reportedly unhappy about Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.

  • Farida Rustamova, formerly of the BBC, spoke with Kremlin officials for a Tuesday story.

  • An English translation of her article said many were "discouraged, frightened."

President Vladimir Putin has alienated some top Russian officials since the early stages of the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian journalist Farida Rustamova reported.

According to the journalist Ilya Lozovsky's English translation of Rustamova's Tuesday report, officials and members of parliament she spoke with said they were increasingly worried about how Putin was handling the war.

"In reality, the attitude toward the war within the corridors of power is ambiguous," Rustamova wrote, according to Lozovsky, whose translation she shared on Twitter and reposted in her Substack newsletter. "I came to this conclusion after speaking with several members of parliament and officials at various levels. Many of them are discouraged, frightened, and are making apocalyptic forecasts."

Rustamova recently fled the country and previously worked for the BBC Russian Service — which has since been suspended by the London-based network — as well as Meduza and the RBC, an investigative outlet that experienced a mass resignation in 2016.

"No one is rejoicing," a source described as "close to the Kremlin" told Rustamova, according to Lozovsky's translation. "Many understand that this is a mistake, but in the course of doing their duty they come up with explanations in order to somehow come to terms with it."

"Some officials aren't associating themselves with what's happening at all, viewing Putin's decision as a historical choice over which they have no influence, and the meaning of which no one will understand for a some time to come," Rustamova wrote.

Another person granted anonymity said Kremlin officials were "carefully enunciating the word clusterfuck" when describing the invasion.

Rustamova wrote that every source she talked to believed Putin wouldn't follow through on invading Ukraine and was instead looking to gain leverage for concessions, such as declaring Donetsk and Luhansk "people's republics."

"Everyone had some scattered information that did not provide an answer to the main question: Will we start bombing or not?" another person described as "close to the Kremlin" told Rustamova.

The Russian reporter also outlined how Putin had been limiting information to a close circle of advisors.

"Most likely, my sources say, only the narrowest circle had been informed: Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, and the leaders of the counterintelligence service," she wrote, according to Lozovsky's translation. "For example, the head of the presidential administration Anton Vaino, whose role, unlike his more influential predecessors, is more akin to a private secretary, is not informed about such decisions, my sources say."

A different person Rustamova described as "a good acquaintance of Putin's" said the Russian president's mood had gotten worse.

"Here he is in a state of being offended and insulted," the source said. "It's paranoia that has reached the point of absurdity."

Read the original article on Business Insider