A British spy chief has warned in a rare speech that despite the huge failures with the Russian Army and that they are “running short of munitions” Vladimir Putin has a “very capable military machine.”
The head of the UK’s GCHQ intelligence agency Sir Jeremy Fleming also said that Putin’s regime is becoming increasingly desperate and he hopes that the UK will see “indicators” from Russia before he deploys any nuclear weapons.
The spy chief told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “We believe that Russia is running short of munitions, it’s certainly running short of friends and we have seen, because of the declaration for mobilisation, that it is running short of troops.”
Read more on Russia-Ukraine war:
Russia launches fresh wave of strikes hitting ‘public facilities’ and Moscow is warned they ‘may have violated international law’
Former US ambassador to NATO urges the West to ‘really step up efforts to help Ukraine get better air defences’
Russian MP tells Putin ‘the lying has to stop’ as he attempts to keep his failures away from the Russian people
Moscow warns the West of ‘uncontrolled escalation’ over their ‘growing involvement’ in the war with Ukraine
He added that the top brass in Moscow are “worried about the state of their military machine.” adding “the word I have used is desperate and we can see that desperation at many levels inside Russian society and inside the Russian military machine.”
He went on to say that Putin still has “deep stocks and expertise” within his military, as was seen on Monday and again on Tuesday in co-ordinated strikes against Ukraine’s cities.
He was asked whether GCHQ would know if Putin was considering using nuclear weapons, Sir Jeremy replied, “I think any talk of nuclear weapons is very dangerous and we need to be very careful about how we are talking about that.
“It’s clear to me that whilst we might not like and in many, many ways abhor the way in which the Russian military machine and President Putin are conducting this war, they are staying within the doctrine that we understand for their use, including for nuclear weapons.
“I would hope that we would see indicators if they started to go down that path, but let’s be really clear about that: if they are considering that, that would be a catastrophe in the way that many people have talked about.”
He said that the Russian people are now seeing “just how badly Putin has misjudged the situation.
“They’re fleeing the draft, realising they can no longer travel.
“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.”