British spy chief: Ordinary Russians are counting the cost of Putin’s invasion

Ordinary Russians are increasingly counting the cost of the invasion of Ukraine and are seeing “how badly” President Vladimir Putin “has misjudged the situation,” according to the head of the United Kingdom’s largest spy agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

“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. Their gains are being reversed,” Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, will say in a speech later on Tuesday at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) annual security lecture in London.

“The costs to Russia — in people and equipment are staggering. We know — and Russian commanders on the ground know — that their supplies and munitions are running out. Russia’s forces are exhausted.”

Fleming will also say 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 defense,” Fleming will say.

Fleming will deliver the comments a day after Russia launched a wave of attacks on Ukrainian cities on Monday, killing at least 19 people and wounding more than 100 others.

The senior spy chief will also say that ordinary Russians are “fleeing the draft.”

“They know their access to modern technologies and external influences will be drastically restricted. And they are feeling the extent of the dreadful human cost of his war of choice,” he will say.

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