Top UK spy chief: Putin ‘massively misjudged’ Ukraine war

Associated Press / Mikhail Klimentyev

Britain’s top spy chief on Thursday said Russian President Vladimir Putin “massively misjudged” the Ukraine war, adding that he “underestimated the strength of the coalition.”

During a speech at Australian National University regarding global security during the war in Ukraine, the director of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Sir Jeremy Fleming, highlighted Ukrainian resistance since the start of the invasion.

Fleming said that Putin’s initial plan is “failing,” so he is moving on to plan B, which he described as “more barbarity against civilians and cities.”

“Clearly, he plays by different moral and legal rules. Far too many Ukrainians and Russians have already lost their lives. And beyond this toll, many, many more have had their lives shattered,” he said in the speech.

However, Fleming noted that Putin miscalculated how strong the Ukrainian resistance was.

“That said, it increasingly looks like Putin has massively misjudged the situation,” he continued. “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,” he added.

Fleming said his team has seen Russian soldiers, who are short of weapons and morale, refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their equipment and “accidentally shooting down their own aircraft.”

“And even though we believe Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth, what’s going on and the extent of these misjudgments must be crystal clear to the regime,” he said.

Russia invaded Ukraine just over a month ago, with officials on both sides earlier this week signaling an openness to compromise during high-stakes negotiations in Turkey.

Tags Russia Russian invasion of Ukraine Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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