Biden thinks Putin put some advisers ‘under house arrest’

US President Joe Biden said on Thursday he had “indications that [Vladimir Poutine] dismissed or placed under house arrest some of his advisers”, while acknowledging that he did not have “irrefutable proof”.

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He also felt that Vladimir Putin “seemed to have isolated himself”.

But the president made it clear that there was “a lot of speculation” around this information concerning the Russian president, and advised not to “give too much credit to it”.

State Department spokesman Ned Price referred to him as public “reports” – not intelligence reports – that “several Russian officials have been placarded, removed, sidelined or […] placed under house arrest.”

“We have reason to believe that President Putin feels misled. If we look at the last five or six weeks, he clearly made several miscalculations,” he continued.

The director of communications of the White House Kate Bedingfield, more affirmative, had she mentioned Wednesday a “persistent tension” between the Russian president and his staff.

The American president also said he was “skeptical” on Thursday in the face of Russia’s announcements of a partial withdrawal of its troops in Ukraine to focus its offensive on the Donbass region, in the east of the country.

“So far, there is no evidence that he is withdrawing all these troops from Kyiv,” Joe Biden told reporters, at the end of a statement dedicated to the fight against the rise of the price of gasoline.

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According to a senior Pentagon official, Russian forces have begun their withdrawal from Chernobyl (north) and have “abandoned” the Gostomel military airport, northwest of Kyiv, but “we continue to believe that this is a repositioning “.

“We have absolutely no indication that these soldiers are returning home, or that they are permanently removed from the fighting,” the official added.

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