U.S. intelligence agencies are warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin is becoming frustrated by the inability of his military to win decisive victories in Ukraine, and that he may escalate the violence in response, NBC News reported.
With the Russian economy on the verge of catastrophe due to global sanctions, Putin’s military has seemingly become entangled in Ukraine, unable to defeat the country’s surprisingly strong response to the invasion.
According to sources who spoke to the news outlet, Putin has reportedly reacted to news of Russia’s difficulties in Ukraine with bursts of anger at those underneath him, including his inner circle.
“This is somebody that’s clearly been caught off guard by the size of the Ukrainian resistance,” Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC. “He has isolated himself. He’s not been in the Kremlin very much.”
Warner added: “You’ve got less and less inputs, and these inputs are from sycophants… I do worry that he’s been backed into a corner. I do worry that there is no obvious exit ramp.”
According to American intelligence analysts, it would be unusual if Putin, a former KGB officer who usually holds his emotions close, was having angry outbursts.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned on Twitter that Putin was becoming a “danger” to the West, writing the word in all caps.
“The old Putin was a cold blooded but calculating killer. This new Putin is even more dangerous,” Rubio said.
“Putin’s legitimacy built on image as the strong leader who restored Russia to superpower after the disasters of the ‘90s. Now the economy is in shambles and the military is being humiliated and his only tools to reestablish power balance with the West is cyber and nukes.”