“Russian people turning on Vladimir Putin and his war, UK spy chief says”

“The Russian people are losing faith in Vladimir Putin’s “war of choice”, the head of GCHQ has said.

It is becoming clear to the Russian people quite how badly Putin has “misjudged the situation,” according to Sir Jeremy Fleming.

The Director of GCHQ, Britain’s cyber security agency, will use a speech in London on Tuesday to highlight the ongoing threats from Russia and China.

He will say Russian forces are now in a “desperate situation” as they seek to prosecute the disastrous war in Ukraine.

Sir Jeremy will say: “Far from the inevitable Russian military victory that their propaganda machine spouted, it’s clear that Ukraine’s courageous action on the battlefield and in cyberspace is turning the tide.

“Having failed in two major military strategies already, Putin’s plan has hit the courageous reality of Ukrainian defence.

“With little effective internal challenge, his decision-making has proved flawed. It’s a high-stakes strategy that is leading to strategic errors in judgement.””

Comment: “There is no substitute for victory.” Vlad the Impaler II is learning the truth of that the hard way. pl

Russian people turning on Vladimir Putin and his war, UK spy chief says (telegraph.co.uk)

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18 Responses to “Russian people turning on Vladimir Putin and his war, UK spy chief says”

  1. Peter Williams says:

    There not Russians, they’re members of the Belarus opposition. Just look at the flags.

    • Leith says:

      Pete –

      Of course they are not Russians. The caption says clearly that these women are Ukrainian refugees in Tbilisi Armenia. There is a Ukrainian flag in the upper right background. And obviously some Belarus opposition members are there also as you mention.

  2. Vauluenotfound says:

    How does this news play? I don’t think people’s sentiment about the war, or anything else for that matter, mean a tinker’s damn to Putin. Does this make “leadership change” easier for someone standing behind him with a pistol? Does it really mean anything in the short term? In the long term?

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    The dissatisfaction is real enough, but I am not so sure the bulk of the Russian people see this as a war of choice. Adverse public opinion (due to the dismal performance of the Russian armed forces) seems to have been largely responsible for finally forcing Putin into attacking Ukrainian infrastructure. Gilbert Doctorow says this:

    Doubts about how the war is being conducted are causing ordinary Russians to lose confidence in their leadership and to look for hidden traitors. People are asking whether the oligarchs are influencing how the war is being fought so as to protect their interests

    Doctorow observes that far from quashing dissent, the partial mobilization has led to an increase in voices critical of the Kremlin’s handling of the war, as many more people are now personally invested in the outcome – through brothers, sons and fathers going off to war. The people demand victory.

    Elena Panina of Russtrat has used the phrase that “mobilization is revolution”. This captures the dynamic very well I think and the consequences inside Russia for the oligarchs and society as a whole will be unpredictable and beyond the Kremlin’s ability to control. It will be very interesting to see if the Russian leadership can keep pace with the people’s expectations as they demand and end to the corruption and simple incompetence that has led to the brink of defeat. The fact that those systemic problems go right to the top means systemic change may be inevitable. Will it end in a February 1917 revolution? As you say Colonel, that will depend very much of the results on the battlefield.


    • ed says:

      Barbara Ann- Thank you for including the URL citation to Gilbert Doctorow’s post. It is important to read the whole post to gain a full understanding of its intention and import.

    • d74 says:

      Thank you, Barbara Ann, for pointing out this article.
      I note: “The people demand victory.”

      Dissatisfaction with Putin and his cronies is very likely. Not because of this war, but for being unable to win it.
      It is unthinkable that a pacifist (or an imported Lenin in a sealed wagon) would come out and gain popularity, to the point of unloading Putin.

      The head of GCHQ is doing his job to sow doubt but he should realize that Putin is our least bad ally in this matter. (Anyway, what GCHQ may or may not say will not be received by the majority of Russians, nor by those who matter in Russia. His statement is rather a morale booster for the West).

      Sooner or later, whether we like it or not, we will have to talk with the Russians to end this war. I believe, as things stand, that Putin and his clique are the least crazy of the bunch.

      A side issue, based on the fact that the Russian majority opinion seems not to consider a defeat in Ukraine:
      Would a Russian victory or a stalemate be a defeat for the US?
      For Europe alone, in both cases, the defeat has already been established. And we will have been only puppets whose threads are operated by others.

    • Muralidhar Rao says:

      Ms. Ann while your observation about the dissatisfaction of the Russian public regarding the war in Ukraine is absolutely correct, but I think you are missing the point, which is they are looking for a quick win. However Putin has to keep his international coalition (which includes China, India, ME so on) in mind when he acts as not alienate them. If you noticed our ME partners who cooperated with us to bring down Soviet Union by pumping more oil into the market in 80’s now are cutting their output. So this is not just a war against a small country but against the combined west which has enormous financial levers, so in my opinion Putin is slowly defanging western financial empire. Thanks

  4. Fred says:

    My memory is a bit hazy but didn’t GCHQ miss signs of the Russian invasion and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan? Their boy Mr. Steele did do a number on Trump though.

    To quote Mr. Coughlin of the Telegraph:
    “It is a similar situation in the south, where the Ukrainians are reported to be making serious progress around the strategic city of Kherson, regarded as the gateway to Crimea. This raises the tantalising prospect that the Ukrainians will soon be in a position to recapture the Crimean peninsula itself,….”

    Wow, victory is at hand! Which makes one wonder why they haven’t kept going since that three day pause for beer and resupply (and moving all those prisoners West). It’s been a few weeks now, where is the ‘mass’ behind the attack that should have rolled up the Russians by now?

    • d74 says:

      Thank you.
      There’s nothing like low-key (or low-ceiling) thoughts to get the PR foam out.
      But watch out, your sarcasm will get you lost. [Sarcasm*2.]

      • Fred says:


        sarcasm perhaps, but Russian performance has been pathetic on the battlefield, as has been pointed out here before. The Ukranians look like they ran out of steam after scoring a major success. The question I asked is why.

        • Muralidhar Rao says:

          How can the performance be pathetic if they are still holding 20% of Ukranian territory?

        • Leith says:

          Fred –

          UA infantry ain’t exactly Comanche cavalry living off mare’s milk and jerky. So take your pick:
          *Resupply and refit?
          *Move up heavy weapons and air defense units?
          *Move up Brigade CPs?
          *Mine clearance?
          *Swamp around the large tidal slew south of Dudchany?
          *Recon new RU lines of defense?
          *Civilian-Military cooperation?
          *Hugs, kisses and soup from local Babushkas?

          • Fred says:


            What mines? Refit and resupply after an advance of 50 miles (or less)? New RU lines of defense? I thought the UA were getting real time intel from NATO and thus would know where all those RU defenses would have been. They had been on the run before stopping for days; now many days. Stopping for kisses and soup and extras prevented the Allies from clearing the Scheldt quickly and led to a failed airborne campaign. But what do I know, that’s why I ask questions.

          • Leith says:

            Fred –

            Five more settlements recaptured today. So they are not all sitting around eating Gramma’s blinis. All in all they liberated over 155 sq mi of Kherson Oblast in less than a week.

            PS – the Battle of the Scheldt got delayed by Allied focus on Arnheim. By the time the 1st Canuck Army went into the Scheldt General von Zangen had been reinforced. Plus Wehrmacht flooding, and it was an estuary so those parts that were not flooded had lots of tidal sloughs and soft swampy ground – kind of like the Dneiper right bank around Dudchany and Mylovi.

    • Leith says:

      Fred –

      Russian beer! A small souvenir.

  5. Fourth and Long says:


    Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says Biden should cool his rhetoric. Indicates his preference for negotiation and the sooner the better.

  6. different clue says:

    If the Russians, or any Russian leadership group, removes Putin, it will be to Duginize the leadership and the goals.

    If that happens, the post-Putin RussiaGov will seek to use Shock and Awe against everyone and everything in Ukraine. They will seek to Groznify the country and make a desert and call it peace. I can’t begin to predict if they would succeed or fail, because that would require the military knowledge to be able to make a military analysis, and I have zero such knowledge.

    But I am sure that a Post Putin RussiaGov would try its every hardest to win in the very dirtiest way possible.

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