Putin ‘beset with problems’ as Russia’s ‘command chaos’ causing military morale to plummet

Putin dissent grows as ex-military chief slams Russia plan

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Earlier this week, the Kremlin announced they would pull back their forces around the capital, Kyiv, and the northern city of Chernihiv. Russian deputy defence minister, Alexander Fomin, said Moscow would cut operations in the cities to “increase mutual trust” during peace talks with Ukraine.

But lurking behind the rhetoric is “low morale, logistical failures and high Russian casualty numbers”, GCHQ Director Jeremy Fleming has said.

He added: “Their command and control is in chaos.

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

Speaking in Australia, the intelligence boss described how Vladimir Putin goes beyond just these three crucial factors.

Sir Jeremy said: “We believe Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth, what’s going on and the extent of these misjudgements must be crystal clear to the regime.”

He told the Australian National University that with the entire endeavour, Vladimir Putin “overestimated” the strength of Russia’s army, and miscalculated the resistence they would face.

He described: “It increasingly looks like Putin has massively misjudged the situation.

“It’s clear he misjudged the resistance of the Ukrainian people.

“He underestimated the strength of the coalition his actions would galvanize.

“He underplayed the economic consequences of the sanctions regime.

“He overestimated the abilities of his military to secure a rapid victory.”

The head of the UK’s cyber and intelligence agency added: “It all adds up to the strategic miscalculation that Western leaders warned Putin it would be.

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“It’s become his personal war, with the cost being paid by innocent people in Ukraine and, increasingly, by ordinary Russians too.”

The consequences, he continued, included plummeting soldier morale and mutiny within Russia’s ranks.

Sir Jeremy painted a vivid picture of “Russian soldiers — short of weapons and morale — refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft”.

Making UK intelligence on the Ukraine war public has proved a deliberate strategy in the West, in the hope that making such information available will weaken the Kremlin’s ability to control information.

Sir Jeremy’s comments echoed similar statements from US intelligence agencies, with the Pentagon’s spokesperson saying Vladimir Putin’s henchmen are too afraid to tell the Russian leader what is really happening on the ground.

John Kirby said that an oblivious Putin is a dangerous prospect that could lead to a “less than faithful” effort in peace talks.

He added: “The other thing is, you don’t know how a leader like that is going to react to getting bad news.”

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