The director of the British intelligence agency GCHQ said that President Putin had misjudged Russia’s military capabilities and Ukraine’s resistance level.

“It is clear that President Vladimir Putin did not anticipate the resistance of the Ukrainian side, as well as underestimate the strength of the Western coalition that is dealing with Russia,” said Jeremy Fleming, director of the Government Information Headquarters. GCHQ), Britain’s top intelligence agency, speaking at the Australian National University in Canberra on March 31.

Fleming said that the Russian leadership also underestimated the economic consequences of a series of Western sanctions, as well as “overestimated the ability of the Russian military to ensure a quick victory”.

The director of GCHQ also said some Russian soldiers were “lack of weapons, low in morale” and “refused to carry out orders”, but did not provide detailed evidence. Fleming believes that Putin’s advisers “did not report all the facts” to him about the situation in Ukraine.

Earlier, Kate Bedingfield, White House communications director, also made a similar view, saying that advisers did not fully report to President Putin about the battlefield situation in Ukraine as well as the consequences of sanctions. of the West.

In his speech in Canberra, Mr. Fleming also mentioned China, saying that both Moscow and Beijing recognize the risks of being too closely linked in the Ukraine crisis.

“Russia understands that in the long run, China will become more and more powerful militarily and economically. The two sides have some conflicts of interest and Russia could lose the balance,” the GCHQ director said.

Neither Russia nor China have commented on the GCHQ leadership’s statement.

Russia on February 24 launched a special military operation to “demilitarize and de-fascist Ukraine”. After more than a month of fighting, Russian forces have failed to realize their original “hit fast, win fast” goal and are “regrouping” forces near Kiev and Chernihiv to “intensify operations in priority areas.” and above all complete the liberation of Donbass”.

Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that the Russian army has completed the first phase of a special military operation, forcing Ukrainian forces to cluster in defense in large cities such as Kiev.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday said that Russian troops are concentrated on the Donbass to prepare for new attacks and Ukraine is “ready for this”, affirming that it will “not give in to anything and fight”. for every inch of land.”

Zelensky said that negotiations with Russia are still ongoing, but only in words, with no concrete results.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says more than 4 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the conflict, of which more than 2.3 million have entered neighboring Poland.

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