Biden says Putin appears to be ‘self-isolating’ in decision-making about Ukraine war

Biden says Putin appears to be ‘self-isolating’ in decision-making about Ukraine war

President Biden on Thursday said Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have removed most of his advisers and is increasingly isolated in his decision-making about the war in Ukraine.

Mr. Biden said the Russian president “seems to be self-isolated.”

“There’s some indication that he has fired or put under house arrest some of his advisers,” he told reporters without citing evidence. “But I don’t want to put too much stock in that at this time because we don’t have that much evidence.”

Mr. Biden also said there is no intelligence suggesting Russia is keeping its promise to drastically scale back its military operations around Kyiv, the Ukraine capital. There is evidence, however, that Mr. Putin is bolstering his forces in the eastern Donbas region, one of two separatist territories that Russia has recognized as an independent nation.

“The idea he‘s pulling all of his troops out from Kyiv and moving them south, there’s no evidence that he‘s done that,” Mr. Biden said.

Hours earlier, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that he’s not seeing Russia keep its pledge to reduce military activity around Kyiv.

“According to our intelligence, Russian units are not withdrawing but repositioning,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. “Russia is trying to regroup, resupply and reinforce its offensive in the Donbas region.”