GCHQ chief: Putin makes strategic mistakes because of unlimited power | Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has made strategic mistakes in his pursuit of the war in Ukraine, partly because there are so few constraints on his leadership, the head of the British spy agency GCHQ said in a speech on Tuesday.

Russia’s soldiers are running out of supplies and ammunition and the first gains made by Moscow is turnedJeremy Fleming is expected to add in a rare public address.

“Far from the inevitable Russian military victory spouted by their propaganda machine, it is clear that Ukraine’s bold action on the battlefield and in cyberspace is turning the tide,” Fleming said.

Focusing directly on the Russian president, Fleming is expected to say that “with little effective internal challenge, his decision-making has proven flawed” and that he has engaged in “a high-stakes strategy that leads to strategic errors in judgment “.

On Monday, Moscow launched a wave of missile attacks targeting Kiev and other major urban centers, killed at least 11 peoplewhich Putin said was in response to the weekend bombing of the bridge connecting the occupied Crimea with Russia.

Western intelligence has repeatedly stressed how it believes Putin has micromanaged the behavior of Russian forces during the seven-month war. Last month, US officials said the president was believed to have rejected a request by his generals to withdraw from the city of Kherson west of the Dnieper River.

But while intelligence officials believe there is growing anxiety in the Kremlin over the progress of the war, Putin’s position is believed to remain strong. In the unlikely event that he should be suddenly replaced, it is also not certain that it would result in a significant change in Russian strategy.

The GCHQ director will highlight the cost to Russia of months of fighting, arguing that Moscow’s forces have been exhausted and its latest mobilization of conscripts showing signs of desperation. “We know – and Russian commanders on the ground know – that their supplies and ammunition are running low,” he adds.

Fleming is also expected to talk about the future threat from Chinaaccording to a pre-released extract of the remarks he will make before an audience of specialists at the Rusi think tank on Tuesday afternoon.

Beijing’s efforts to harness the control and surveillance capabilities of new technologies represent “a threat to all of us” that must be tackled by concerted Western action, Fleming said, reflecting a widespread intelligence perception that it is China, rather than Russia, there is the long-term challenger to the west.

Characterizing the situation as “a sliding door moment in our history”, Fleming warned that China in particular is seeking to control or influence technologies such as satellite systems and digital currencies in line with its authoritarian policies and, where possible, spread them internationally.

Beijing has sought to launch a central bank digital currency in a bid to increase the use of the yuan in international transactions. But Fleming said it could be used to allow China to “partially evade the kind of international sanctions that are currently being applied to Putin’s regime in Russia” if Beijing were to attempt to invade Taiwan.

The spy chief also highlighted China’s promotion of its own BeiDou satellite navigation system, an alternative to the US GPS and the EU’s Galileo.

“Many believe that China is building a strong anti-satellite capability with a doctrine of denying other nations access to space in the event of a conflict,” Fleming said, adding: “There are fears that the technology could used to track individuals. .”

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