sad putin
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On Thursday, CNN's Katie Bo Lillis reported that the Russian military is "riven with dissent" over how to respond as a surprise counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces has pushed Russian troops back, costing them huge expanses of territory they seized control of earlier in the year.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin is himself giving directions directly to generals in the field, two sources familiar with US and western intelligence said — a highly unusual management tactic in a modern military that these sources said hints at the dysfunctional command structure that has plagued Russia's war from the beginning," said the report. "Intelligence intercepts have captured Russian officers arguing among themselves and complaining to friends and relatives back home about decision-making from Moscow, one of these sources told CNN."

Several senior military leaders in Russia, including multiple generals, have been killed on the battlefield in Ukraine.

"There are significant disagreements on strategy with military leaders struggling to agree on where to focus their efforts to shore up defensive lines, multiple sources familiar with US intelligence said," said the report. "The Russian Ministry of Defense has claimed that it is redeploying forces toward Kharkiv in the northeast — where Ukraine has made the most dramatic gains — but US and western sources say the bulk of Russian troops still remain in the south, where Ukraine has also mounted offensive operations around Kherson."

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One senior NATO official also told CNN that "Kremlin officials and state media pundits have been feverishly discussing the reasons for the failure in Kharkiv and in typical fashion, the Kremlin seems to be attempting to deflect the blame away from Putin and onto the Russian military."

All of this comes amid reports that Putin is planning to deploy as many as 300,000 reservists, that Russia has pulled people out of its prisons to fight in the war — and that flights out of Russia are booked solid as young men scramble to get out ahead of an expected draft.