Russian soldiers ‘refusing orders and shooting own planes’, says UK spy chief

Russian soldiers are refusing to follow orders from superiors and have even shot down their own aircraft, according to one of the UK's top intelligence chiefs.

Sir Jeremy Fleming, head of GCHQ, describes the invasion as 'Putin's war', and says Russian soldiers are running low on both weapons and morale.

The chief spook is set to give a closed-door speech about Russia's faltering invasion of Ukraine on Thursday during a trip to Australia, based on the intelligence he has received so far.

Sir Fleming will tell the audience at the Australian National University: "We've seen Russian soldiers – short of weapons and morale – refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft.

"And even though we believe Putin's advisers are afraid to tell him the truth, what's going on and the extent of these misjudgements must be crystal clear to the regime.

"It all adds up to the strategic miscalculation that Western leaders warned Putin it would be. It's become his personal war, with the cost being paid by innocent people in Ukraine and, increasingly, by ordinary Russians too."

He also warns that Russian cyber attackers will be “looking for targets” in countries that oppose Mad Vlad's actions.

An advance copy of the speech goes on to cover how Putin’s top advisers are too scared to tell him the truth about what is actually happening in Ukraine.

A final note is that Wagner, a private military company with suspected Kremlin links, could be used by Putin as “canon fodder” as he desperately attempts to salvage his invasion.

Sir Fleming is due to say: "Recently, we have seen that Wagner looks to be taking it up a gear.

"They are looking at relocating forces from other conflicts and recruiting new fighters to bolster numbers. These soldiers are likely to be used as cannon fodder to try to limit Russian military losses."

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