Putin ‘massively misjudged’ Ukraine war, says UK spy chief

Vladimir Putin “massively misjudged” the invasion of Ukraine in line with a British spy chief who mentioned that Russian troopers had been refusing to hold out orders, sabotaging their very own gear and had mistakenly shot down their very own plane.

Jeremy Fleming, head of Britain’s indicators intelligence company GCHQ, mentioned Putin had “overestimated the abilities of his military to secure a rapid victory” and that his advisers had been “afraid to tell him the truth” a few marketing campaign that had been “beset by problems”.

“We’re now seeing Putin trying to follow through on his plan. But it is failing. And his Plan B has been more barbarity against civilians and cities,” Fleming mentioned in a speech to the Australian Nationwide College.

“We’ve seen Putin lie to his own people in an attempt to hide military incompetence,” he added.

“It increasingly looks like Putin has massively misjudged the situation,” the British intelligence chief mentioned, including that Russian troopers who had been rejecting orders and damaging their very own gear had been “short of weapons and morale”.

“It’s clear he misjudged the resistance of the Ukrainian people. He underestimated the strength of the coalition his actions would galvanise. He under-played the economic consequences of the sanctions regime.”

He added that mercenaries, together with the Russia-backed Wagner Group, had been sending extra international troopers to the area. “These soldiers are likely to be used as cannon fodder to try to limit Russian military losses,” he mentioned.

Fleming accused Putin immediately of taking part in by completely different ethical and authorized guidelines. “It’s become his personal war, with the cost being paid by innocent people in Ukraine and increasingly, by ordinary Russians too,” he mentioned.

On China, the GCHQ head warned that Beijing’s world pursuits had been “not well served” by siding with Moscow.

“We know both presidents Xi [Jinping] and Putin place great value on their personal relationships . . . but there are risks to them both, and more for China, in being too closely aligned.”

Beijing “wants to set . . . the norms for a new global governance”, he famous, but Russia was a regime “that wilfully and illegally ignores them all”.

Britain’s damning evaluation got here as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia was massing troops to launch new strikes in jap Ukraine after Moscow mentioned it had moved to “to fully liberate” the Donbas area.

Zelensky made his feedback in a video handle late on Wednesday after Russia’s defence ministry mentioned it was pulling out of massive cities in Ukraine’s north and west, together with the capital Kyiv and Chernihiv, as a way to deal with the east of the nation.

Zelensky mentioned: “We do not believe anyone — we do not trust any beautiful verbal constructions.”

Igor Konashenkov, a spokesperson for Russia’s defence ministry, mentioned on Wednesday that Moscow was conducting a “planned rotation” out of Kyiv and Chernihiv after “achieving all the main tasks” in that a part of the nation.

He added that the army was shifting into the “final phase” of its operations in jap Ukraine as a way to “complete the operation to fully liberate the Donbas”, the largely Russian-speaking border area in jap Ukraine.

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