As the conflict in Ukraine continues to unfold, Russian President Vladimir Putin is sidelining his military advisors and making key decisions on his own, according to a recent report by US analysts according to Business Insider.
This approach is causing increasing concern among Western experts and raises questions about the Russian leader's strategy and the future of the war.
A Distrustful Leader
The report, published by the RAND Corporation, suggests that Putin's decision-making is driven by a deep-seated distrust of those around him. This has led him to make "little use of economic or military expertise" available to him.
The atmosphere in the Kremlin is described as one of "suspicion and uncertainty," where top military leaders are likely to self-censor to avoid the consequences of delivering bad news.
Putin's isolationist approach has led to a more cautious strategy than many expected. However, this caution does not guarantee a stable future.
The report warns that if Russia continues to face losses without making progress on the battlefield, Putin will have to choose between "negotiations from a position of weakness, more extensive and potentially destabilizing mobilizations, or more draconian attempts to ensure internal control."
Western analysts have noted that key Russian military leaders, including Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu, are likely withholding bad news about the war from Putin.
This lack of transparent communication could lead to further miscalculations and escalate the conflict, making Putin's solo strategy a risky gamble.