(WASHINGTON) — U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday said there’s “no clear evidence” that Vladimir Putin is scaling back military operations around Kyiv and suggested that the Russian president may have ordered some of his advisers fired or placed under house arrest.
Biden told reporters that “there’s some indication” that Putin has taken those steps against some of his advisers. He added, “But I don’t want to put too much stock in that at this time because we don’t have that much hard evidence.”
The White House on Wednesday released unclassified intelligence findings that Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing.
The president made the comments after formally announcing that the U.S. would release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve in hopes of easing surging gasoline prices.
Biden also reiterated that his administration remains skeptical that Russia will scale back operations around Kyiv as Moscow announced earlier this week.
Russian forces continued to shell Kyiv suburbs Thursday, two days after the Kremlin announced it would significantly scale back operations near both the capital and the northern city of Chernihiv.