ladimir Putin appears to know that Russian forces are suffering “heavy losses” in his stalling invasion of Ukraine, Western officials said on Thursday.
They believe that this can be seen by his decision to change military strategy to focus more on trying to capture territory in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
However, his close Kremlin aides are believed to be too scared to tell him the full truth about how badly the invasion is going.
More than 10,000 Russian troops have been killed since the invasion started on February 24, according to some reports.
As Mr Putin moves more forces towards the Donbas, one western official said of what the president is likely to be hearing: “There are signs that there is some movement of troops so there is definitely is some adjustment of the tactics of the invasion.
“So, it looks as if they at least do understand that they are taking heavy losses, they must understand that they have not taken Kyiv, even (in) Russian-speaking towns…the Ukrainians have been strongly resisting.
“That information has to be getting through.”
But that information may not be “totally unvarnished,” the official added.