Britain’s GCHQ intelligence chief says Russian troops have refused to carry out orders in Ukraine

LONDON, March 30 (Reuters) – New intelligence shows Wednesday that some Russian soldiers in Ukraine refused to carry out orders, damaged their own equipment and accidentally shot down one of their own planes, Britain’s head of GCHQ said on Wednesday.

Russia’s February 24 occupation of Ukraine has killed thousands of people, displaced millions and raised fears of a wider conflict between Russia and the United States. read more

While underestimating the opposition of the Ukrainian people and the determination of the West, President Vladimir Putin has “grossly misjudged” the capabilities of Russia’s powerful armed forces, said Jeremy Fleming, head of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). .

Sign up now for unlimited free access to Reuters.com

“Putin has grossly misjudged the situation,” Fleming said in a speech at the Australian National University in Canberra. “We believe Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth.”

Citing new intelligence, Fleming said there was evidence that Russian soldiers were of low morale and poorly armed.

“We have seen Russian soldiers – unarmed and mentally ill – refusing to carry out orders, destroying their own equipment and accidentally shooting down their own aircraft,” Fleming said.

Reuters could not independently confirm the analysis of the GCHQ.

The GCHQ, which collects communications from around the world to detect and disrupt threats to Britain, has a close relationship with the US National Security Agency and the Tactical Agencies of Australia, Canada and New Zealand in the “Five Eyes” consortium.

GCHQ Director Jeremy Fleming delivers a keynote address at the Watergate House meeting with Queen Elizabeth II on February 14, 2019, to mark the centenary of GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) in London, UK. REUTERS / Hannah McKay / Pool / File Photo

Russia’s Defense Ministry says Russia’s Armed Forces are performing their duty professionally and with considerable success in Ukraine. It claims that Western nations have spread lies about the move in an attempt to overthrow Russia.

The United States estimates that Russia has a failure rate of up to 60% for some of its precision-guided missiles, three U.S. intelligence officials told Reuters. read more

U.S. and European officials said Wednesday that Putin had been misled by advisers and was too scared to tell him how bad the war in Ukraine was and how much Western sanctions were hurting him. Read More The Kremlin made no immediate comment.

Putin says a “special military operation” is needed in Ukraine because the United States used Ukraine to intimidate Russia and to protect Moscow against the persecution of Russian-speaking people by Ukraine.

Ukraine says it is fighting imperialist-style land grabbing and that Putin’s claims of genocide are nonsense.

Russia says the West has effectively declared an economic war on Russia, so it is now heading east, away from Europe and forming an alliance with China.

“But there are dangers in the two of them (and China) being so closely aligned,” Fleming said.

“Russia understands that in the long run, China will be stronger militarily and economically. Some of their interests are at odds; Russia may be squeezed out of the equation.”

Sign up now for unlimited free access to Reuters.com

Guy Balkanbridge Report; Editing Grand McCauley

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.