Kremlin officials were supposedly surprised that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine and were expecting milder sanctions for their decision to recognize the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of its neighbor as independent states, the independent Russian news organization Agency reported Friday.
One senior official told Agency that legislators "did not know" that the military would unleash the measure of force that it did and were shocked when news broke of the invasion.
The claim comes despite more than a month of reporting in the West that Russian military forces were growing to more than 100,000 along the country's border with Ukraine as well as in neighboring Belarus.
Putin's Cabinet, according to an unidentified source close to the administration, only was making preparations for sanctions by NATO and like-minded governments in reaction to recognizing Luhansk and Donetsk as sovereign nations on Feb. 21.
The sanctions that have caused the most concern to Russia are the exclusion from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (or SWIFT) system for some banks, the freezing of Russia's foreign assets and the withdrawal by major international companies from the country.
Sanctions also have included seizing assets owned by Russian billionaires closely tied to Putin.
"Everything is f*****," Agency quoted its source as saying.
One of Agency source's also said the Russian government convened meetings about the potential sanctions and even conducted stress tests in case the country's SWIFT connection was severed.
Despite their supposed shock, Russian government officials feel compelled to remain in their positions or be seen as a traitor.
"You can only quit to prison," the official said.
Business Insider reported Tuesday that Western intelligence claims Putin was so incensed at the sanctions by the United States and its allies that he threatened civilian targets to "set an example."
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