According to the head of Britain’s spy services, Russian troops have allegedly shot down their own aircraft, others have reportedly sabotaged their own equipment, and some have refused to carry out orders.
In a rare public appearance, the head of Britain’s GCHQ, Sir Jeremy Fleming, stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been marked by demoralized Russian troops who are making fundamental mistakes.
Sir Jeremy Fleming said in a statement:
“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 over-estimated the abilities of his military to secure a rapid victory.”
Fleming later noted: “We’ve seen Russian soldiers — short of weapons and morale — refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft.”
Sky News reporter Deborah Haynes also tweeted:
“Demoralized Russian soldiers in Ukraine have accidentally shot down their own aircraft, sabotaged their own kit, and refused to carry out orders. The @GCHQ director will also say Wagner, the Russian private military company, is understood to be prepared to ‘send large numbers of personnel into Ukraine to fight alongside Russians.’ They will likely be used as ‘cannon fodder’ to try to limit Russian military losses.”
BREAKING: Demoralised Russian soldiers in Ukraine have accidentally shot down their own aircraft, sabotaged their own kit and refused to carry out orders, Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of the UK spy agency @GCHQ, will reveal in a speech in Australia on Thursday. 1/
— Deborah Haynes (@haynesdeborah) March 30, 2022
“Sir Jeremy is also set to say the risks are greater for China than Russia of the two authoritarian states being too closely aligned with each other. And he will reveal indications that Russian cyber attackers are ‘looking for targets’ in countries opposed to Russia’s war in. The @GCHQ director will say Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth about what is unfolding in Ukraine, according to an advance copy of the speech, which is taking place at the Australian National University in Canberra.”
“But ‘what’s going on & the extent of these misjudgments must be crystal clear to the regime.’ Missteps = misjudging resistance; underestimating strength of western response; underplaying economic consequences; over-estimating abilities of Russia’s military to secure quick win. Revealing details about the state of the Russian military operation, Sir Jeremy is expected to say: ‘We’ve seen Russian soldiers – short of weapons and morale – refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft.'”
Last week, the BBC reported that Russia had allegedly lost seven generals during the fighting.
“Ukraine’s defence ministry says another Russian general, Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson. Rezantsev was the commander of Russia’s 49th combined army. A western official said he was the seventh general to die in Ukraine, and the second lieutenant general – the highest rank officer reportedly killed.”