So says the Chief of Britains GCHQ in public in Australia today.
“The head of Britain’s spy agency says Vladimir Putin has “massively misjudged” the difficulty of invading Ukraine, and Russian soldiers are sabotaging their own military equipment as morale in the army deteriorates.
Sir Jeremy said Russian soldiers were “refusing to carry out orders”
He warned countries like the UK, the US and Australia could be targeted by Russian cyber attacks
He said China was backing Moscow for now in part because its plans for Taiwan
Sir Jeremy Fleming delivered the assessment during a speech to the National Security College (NSC) in Canberra on a visit to Australia.
The director of the GCHQ said the Russian government was beginning to realise it had made a strategic miscalculation by launching the invasion, but the Russian President’s advisers were “afraid” to tell him the truth about the extent of their losses.
“It’s clear [Mr Putin] misjudged the resistance of the Ukrainian people,” he said.
“He underestimated the strength of the coalition his actions would galvanise.
“He underplayed the economic consequences of the sanctions regime.
“He overestimated the abilities of his military to secure a rapid victory.
Sir Jeremy said Russian soldiers were “refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft”.”
Comment: This has been said in public and echoed by the Whitehouse without attribution. If it is disinformation, then it appears to be a masterful concoction for spreading FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt at all levels of Russian society, not just within the Government and the armed forces.
I note that two of the better Russia oriented commentators: “The Saker” and “Reminiscences” are careful to avoid addressing, let alone contradicting this possibility. In my opinion, the commentary of the first is dissolving into mysticism, the latter into technobabble. I’m not a believer in the idea that Russias current operation is somehow a masterful demonstration of hypercharged superdynamic 21st century warfare stratagery. It looks to me like a bit of a mess.
I imagine that Flemings statements would be consistent with Col. Langs own appreciation. Lets hope he recovers soon.