WSJ: Putin relies on hand-picked information feeding into his miscalculations on Ukraine war

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The Wall Street Journal interviewed several current and former Russian officials and people close to the Kremlin who broadly described Vladimir Putin as an isolated leader who was “unable, or unwilling, to believe that Ukraine would successfully resist.” Putin starts his day with a written briefing on the war with information “carefully calibrated to emphasize successes and play down setbacks,” according to the Wall Street Journal’s sources. 

He has long refused to use the internet for fear of digital surveillance, Russian and U.S. officials have said, making him “more dependent on briefing documents compiled by ideologically aligned advisers.”

Front-line reports take several days to reach Putin, people familiar with the matter said, adding that Putin often receives outdated briefings.

“Front-line commanders report to the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor to the KGB, which edits reports for experts at the Security Council, who pass them to Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, the arch hawk who helped persuade Mr. Putin to invade Ukraine,” reads the WSJ report.

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