US and British Intelligence has revealed that President Vladimir Putin is being misled by fearful Advisors as his Ukraine invasion goes awry, with mutinous Russian Troops sabotaging equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft.
The close allies, whose spies have played up Russia’s failures and highlighted Kremlin divisions, averred Putin’s Advisors are “too afraid” to tell him the full truth about battlefield reverses and the real impact of sanctions.
Hours after the White House released its Intelligence Assessment, Britain’s GCHQ Spy Agency Chief, Jeremy Fleming, on Thursday, March 31, 2022, said the Russian Leader overestimated his military’s ability to secure a rapid victory.
“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. And even though Putin’s advisors are afraid to tell him the truth, what’s going on and the extent of these misjudgements must be crystal clear to the regime.”GCHQ Spy Chief Agency, Jeremy Fleming
Fleming disclosed that Putin underestimated the Ukraine resistance, the strength of the International Coalition against him, and the impact of economic sanctions.
Fleming’s remarks echoed a White House briefing on declassified US Intelligence on Wednesday, which suggested that Putin’s relations with his own staff has deteriorated. White House Communications Director, Kate Bedingfield intimated that “We obviously have information which we have now made public that he felt misled by the Russian military”.
Britain’s Fleming said Intelligence Services had detected a “sustained intent” from Russia to disrupt Ukrainian Government and Military Systems.
“We’ve certainly seen indicators which suggest Russia’s Cyber actors are looking for targets in the countries that oppose their actions.”GCHQ Spy Chief Agency, Jeremy Fleming
The Chief Spy pointed out that on the battlefield in Ukraine, Moscow is using mercenaries and foreign fighters to support its own forces. They included the Wagner Group, which was “taking it up a gear” after being active in the country since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
“The group works as a shadow branch of the Russian military, providing implausible deniability for riskier operations.”GCHQ Spy Chief Agency, Jeremy Fleming
Breakdown of the Report
The US and British Spy reports came as questions mount about Putin’s relationship with Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, who disappeared from public view for weeks, before reappearing on March 26, 2022, in a television broadcast. Television images showed Shoigu chairing a meeting on Russia’s Defence Procurement. The meeting carried no date, but the Minister referred to a Finance Ministry meeting which was held the previous day (March 25, 2022)
A Senior US Official in Washington said there is “persistent tension” between Putin and Moscow’s Defence Ministry, stemming from the Russian Leader’s mistrust in his leadership. Several reports in March 2022 suggested a shadowy section of Russia’s FSB Security Agency which came under scrutiny, with its Leader interrogated and reportedly serving under house arrest. However, the reports could not be independently confirmed.
Other reports carried out
In a report first carried by Latvia-based Russian news site, Meduza, Russian Intelligence experts said the Head of the so-called Fifth Service of the FSB, Sergei Beseda, and his Deputy, Anatoly Bolukh, are being placed under house arrest in an investigation. FSB Dosye, an investigative site that specialises in the work of the FSB, said reports of a full scale purge were exaggerated. Beseda was indeed interrogated by investigators but was still in his job and not under arrest, the site (FSB Dosye) noted, adding that, FSB Deputy, Anatoly Bolukh was also interrogated but for some years was allegedly no longer the number two of the Fifth Service.
Ukrainian Forces have been recapturing territory in recent days, including the strategic Kyiv suburb of Irpin, as the Russian offensive appears to stall five weeks after the invasion began on Thursday, February 24, 2022.