President Biden was personally briefed, along with other US national security officials, about a member of Putin’s inner circle voicing disagreement with how Russia's invasion of Ukraine has progressed. As Russia's invasion stalls and Ukrainian forces begin to reclaim more territory, the Kremlin insider apparently spoke out regarding "mismanagement of the war effort and mistakes being made by those executing the military campaign." The identity of the Russian insider is known to US intelligence but has not been revealed to the public. Putin is believed to be isolated and surrounded by sycophants. This criticism comes as a rare instance, especially since the outbreak of war, of Putin's leadership, being challenged by his advisors.
Russian citizens have protested the invasion since it began in February, even in the face of state repression. However, as the war turns in favour of the Ukrainians, and Russia begins to lose ground, even more, prominent figures have spoken out publicly against the war and even against the regime. While it is not unlikely that a trusted confidant of Putin would choose this moment to speak out, it is also possible that the intelligence is unreliable. Western intelligence, especially the CIA, has repeatedly failed to accurately assess the Putin regime.