According to new assessments by British and American intelligence agencies, Russian President Vladimir Putin is being lied to by his advisers about the performance of Russian forces in Ukraine as Moscow’s military offensive falters.
speech of Australian National University On Thursday, Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence, cyber and security agency, said: “We believe that Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth about what is going on and the extent of these misperceptions must be perfectly clear to the regime . ”
Fleming added that Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine proved a huge miscalculation and that he “overestimated” the capabilities of the Russian army.
“Increasingly, it looks as if Putin misjudged the situation massively. Obviously, he misjudged the resistance of the Ukrainian people. He underestimated the strength of the coalition his actions would rouse. He downplayed the economic consequences of the sanctions regime. He overestimated his military’s ability to win a quick victory,” Fleming said.
The director of British intelligence went on to say that Russia’s military leadership had been thrown into chaos and that Putin’s campaign “is plagued by problems – low morale, logistical flaws and high Russian casualties. Their command and control are in chaos.”
He added that Russian soldiers mutinied: “We have seen Russian soldiers – without weapons or morals – refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own planes.”
Fleming criticized Putin’s disinformation campaign targeting freedom of expression in Russia: “We have seen how Putin has lied to his own people to hide military incompetence,” he added, “and all of this means that he has brutal control over the Media and access to the internet, he seeks to stifle the voices of the opposition and invests heavily in their propaganda and covert agencies.”
Fleming was wary of whether Russia would seriously scale back some of its attacks, Russian negotiators said in Istanbul on Tuesday.
“This week, the Russian Defense Ministry publicly stated that it will drastically reduce hostilities around Kyiv and a northern city. It looked like they had been forced to make a significant change. But then they continued to launch attacks in both of those places. Mixed messaging or intentional misinformation — we’ll have to see how that plays out,” he said.
The revelation continues the Western strategy of declassifying intelligence agencies to uncover the internal workings of the Kremlin. Both the US and British intelligence agencies repeatedly released confidential information both in the run-up to the war and in the aftermath of the invasion. “It is already a remarkable feature of this conflict how much information was released so quickly to stay one step ahead of Putin’s actions. From my point of view, it’s worth collecting information only if we use it, so I wholeheartedly welcome this development,” said Fleming.
Across the Atlantic, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield divided British assessment and said: “We believe that Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about how poorly the Russian military is performing and how sanctions are crippling the Russian economy because his senior advisers are too afraid to tell him the truth.” . Bedingfield added that it was “becoming increasingly clear” that the war was a “strategic blunder” that would weaken it in the long term.
https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-advisers-president-vladimir-putin-war-ukraine-military-uk-intelligence/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Putin advisers deceive Russian leader over Ukraine's wartime status, says British intelligence - POLITICO