The head of Russian analysis for the Danish Defense Intelligence Service told Berlingske on Friday that President Vladimir Putin was close to taking over Ukraine last March.
Identified only by his first name Joakim, the NATO-member state official said his colleagues believed Russia would topple the Kyiv government within only two weeks. However, Putin's desire to plan strategy himself appeared to cause disaster.
"We put a lot of the blame for this on Putin's shoulders," Joakim said, adding that "last minute" decision-making among a small Kremlin group stoked confusion among troops on the ground.
"These are pretty small factors that ended up deciding the outcome," he stated.
Joakim pointed to the Russian leader's December meeting with military leaders as an example of his imprudent intervention, calling it "the worst idea in the world."
"He has a general to lead this war. So, he shouldn't be sitting there getting input from all these other generals," the Danish official explained, casting further doubt on Russia's ability to launch a winter offensive soon.
According to Joakim, Putin's initial framing of the conflict as a "special military operation" also crippled the country's ability to use its full force early on, leading to over 100,000 Russian troop deaths and September's partial mobilization.
But arrogance might not be the only reason for Putin's incessant involvement. Joakim also suggested that drug-induced megalomania could have played a factor in deciding to kick off the war in the first place.
"Delusions of grandeur are one of the known side effects of the type of hormone treatment that he was on," Joakim proclaimed. "It's not something I can say for certain, but I think it did affect his decisions when he launched the war in Ukraine."
The nature of Putin's health condition requiring hormone treatment was not disclosed in the Berlingske profile.
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