How deluded Putin thought he would defeat Ukraine in 3 DAYS, leaked docs show – as disastrous war rages one year on | The Sun
DELUDED Vladimir Putin expected to defeat Ukraine in three days as his spies told him thousands would rise up to overthrow Volodymyr Zelensky.
Leaked documents show the FSB security service was feeding duff intelligence to the Russian tyrant – feeding his deranged ego.
Vlad's spies assured him that armed and trained Ukrainians would rise up to topple Zelensky – and then welcome the Russians with open arms.
Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine a year ago in the belief he could secure a lightning victory by seizing the capital Kyiv and "decapitating" the leadership.
But heroic Ukrainian resistance thwarted the Russians, whose dreams of quick victory soon turned into the nightmare – with nearly 150,000 of Vlad's soldiers now lying dead.
The initial attempt to take Kyiv has been blamed on cataclysmic intelligence failures about the capabilities of the Ukrainians and their willingness to fight back.
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But the extent to which Putin’s spies bungled is revealed by emails from within the FSB, which have been shared with The Sun Online.
They come from a source known as Wind of Change and were sent to Russian human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin, the founder of Gulagu, which highlights abuses in the country’s prisons.
The emails are believed to originally be the work of one FSB officer but it's thought several now contribute to the emails.
In an email written about a fortnight after the invasion, as Russia dead began to mount, the source reveals how the FSB spies had been reporting that before the invasion, Ukrainians were ready to rise up.
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“We issued reports that at minimum about 2,000 trained civilians in every major city in Ukraine were ready to overthrow Zelensky.
“And that at least 5,000 civilians were prepared to come out with flags against Zelensky on the beck-and-call of Russia."
Wind of Change then goes on to explain that the FSB thought that once Zelensky had been toppled, the Ukrainians would then fight amongst themselves to win Putin’s favour.
“Do you want a laugh?,” says the source.
“We were expected to be the arbitrators for crowning Ukrainian politicians who were supposed to start tearing each other apart competing for the right to be called aligned with Russia.”
The source mentioned several times that three days was time timetable given to Mad Vlad for the capture of Kyiv.
"'What if it doesn't work?' This question was left unanswered when they planned to take Kiev in three days," said Wind of Change in one reference.
Similarly the source says if Putin's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was asked before the war, he would have replied "we will take Kiev inthree days", using the Russian spelling for the city.
Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russia’s security and intelligence who is a senior associate fellow at defence think-tank RUSI, said Putin’s spies know to tell him what he wants to hear.
“We’ve known for years that Putin has become more and more intolerant of anything that doesn’t conform to what he wants to hear,” he told The Sun Online.
“As this material gets passed up the chain of command it gets rewritten and rewritten and distorted because no-one dares give him the bad news.
“So this is a problem he’s created for himself.”
The Russian leader’s views are shaped by his “ideological blindspot” towards Ukraine so it would take a brave FSB officer to go out on a limb.
“He is absolutely convinced that Ukraine is not a real country and Ukrainians not a real people and therefore can’t bring him to accept that they’re willing to die with such determination for this ‘non-country’.
“Who’s going to be the one who actually says ‘Vladimir Vladimirovich that’s not actually the way things are’.”
In the hours and days after the war began, the chilling sight of helicopters swarming towards Kyiv gave way to harrowing images of charred armoured columns ambushed by Ukrainians.
It soon became clear Putin’s quest for a quick victory, shaped by getting intelligence he wanted to hear.
The initial attempt to seize Hostomel airport and use it to pour in reinforcement ended in humiliation when the elite Russian paratroopers given the task were obliterated.
Not even Putin's generals were safe as they began to get picked off and killed as they went to the front in a bid to turn around the faltering campaign.
The first wave of troops sent across the border soon became snarled up in a 40 mile "convoy of death" with the Russians picked off by a squad of intrepid Ukrainians with drones.
All of these failures had at their heart at Putin's initial misguided stamp of approval, says Galeotti.
“He shaped the plan for the invasion. It’s not the way the generals would fight a war," the expert told The Sun Online.
“Instead it was based on the idea that this was going to be an easy, quick seizure of the country.
“For example, many of the invasion force were members of the National Guard, who are basically a security force.
"So the assumption was the main problem would be some protests, maybe some riots rather than outright warfare.
“That’s making the assumption that most Ukrainians would at the very least keep their heads down and grumble maybe but not take up arms against the Russians.”
The Wind of Change email is dated March 11.
And on that day it was reported the head of the Fifth service was arrested on suspicion of knowingly feeding bad information about the situation in Ukraine.
According to respected Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov, the FSB chief was also accused of stealing funds allocated for the invasion.
The catastrophic FSB miscalculations outlined by Wind of Change are backed up by what’s publicly known about what its views on Ukraine were just prior to the invasion.
This poor intelligence and the overconfidence it gave the Putin is a key factor the International Institute for Strategic Studies places at the heart of it recent analysis of the Russian failure.
For example, there was no massed artillery that would traditionally accompany a ground attack and Ukraine's critical infrastructure was not extensively targeted.
And the incompetence or cowardice of Putin's spies is laid bare in a RUSI report which says that they actually conducted surveys of the Ukrainian population.
According to a report by RUSI, the FSB's surveys which found Zelensky had a poor approval rating among Ukrainians.
The survey was carried out by FSB’s Ninth Directorate of the Fifth Service, which conducts political analysis.
There was disillusionment with political parties and around 40 percent of Ukrainians polled said they wouldn’t defend their country, said the Russians.
Russia’s spies took this snapshot of the common grumbling that exists in democratic countries as indicating how the Ukrainians would react to invasion.
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“While the FSB survey may have been accurate in measuring opinions at the time it was conducted, it told the Russians little about how sentiments would evolve in the aftermath of an invasion,” says the report.
“It is notable that Putin, in his pre-invasion televised address, spoke extensively about the failures of Ukrainian governance in terms that mirrored the picture painted by the FSB’s surveys.”
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