According to an extensive investigation published Saturday by The New York Times, Russian tycoons are saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin tricked them into thinking he was supporting the invasion of Ukraine.

According to The Times, many of Putin's top advisers did not know the full extent of his plans until they were already underway. The paper reported that senior aides at the Kremlin were trying to read his body language.

"If you are told for 22 years that you are a super-genius, then you will start to believe that this is who you are," said a former Russian banking mogul who turned on Putin. The Russians saw a czar in him. He just got crazy.

As the "special military operation" has dragged on, some Russian oligarchs have expressed doubt and frustration, as a result of their allyship with Putin, according to the Times.

The billionaire woke up to "madness" in Ukraine on February 24 and had a meeting with Putin the next day. He was part of a group of business moguls who were surprised by the invasion. After entering the room, Putin told those assembled and the cameras behind them that he didn't have a choice about invading.

The invasion was irrational and a shock but the damage had already been done. One of the business moguls at the meeting told the paper that they had gathered before the cameras to show their support for Putin, even if they disagreed with him.

The businessman told The Times that the goal of the stunt was to get everyone punished.

Putin wanted his followers to have some skin in the game. Dozens of business tycoons were hit with sanctions from western nations according to The Times. Russian tycoons had their assets frozen and were banned from traveling to some countries as the Ruble fell into freefall.

Business Insider previously reported that some of Russia's wealthiest have begged the West to exclude them from the sanctions.

Putin's war has become a point of pride for the Russian president, who hopes it will cement his reputation in Russia.

The biography of the whole world has been shaped by what Putin thinks about, according to the Times of Putin.