Russian president, Vladimir Putin has reportedly sacked his top generals over after failed intelligence and poor strategy saw his troops handed a series of embarrassing defeats in the opening days of the war in Ukraine.
Oleksiy Danilov, head of Ukraine’s security council, said ‘around eight’ Russian commanders have been fired since the start of the conflict as Moscow scrambles to change strategy after its attempted ‘shock and awe’ blitz fell flat.
Putin is also said to be infuriated with commanders of the FSB security service – which he used to run – for handing him intelligence suggesting that Ukraine was weak, riddled with neo-Nazi groups, and would give up easily if attacked.
Philip Ingram, a security expert, and former senior British intelligence officer, told The Times that Putin is obviously ‘very angry’ and is blaming his intelligence agencies.
‘He blames them for seeding him the advice that led to the poor decision-making in Ukraine,’ he said.
That poor decision-making has led to Russia suffering much higher casualties than it expected in its attack, which has now been going on for two weeks.
Ukraine believes Russia has lost up to 12,000 men in a fortnight. European intelligence puts it lower – between 6,000 and 9,000 – and US lower still, at up to 3,000.
‘We have a clear understanding of what plans the enemy has now,’ Danilov said on Ukrainian state TV today.
‘They have changed them a little since the beginning of the war, which they wanted to win in 2-3 days and march [into Kyiv]. It hasn’t happened and never will.
‘They changed their leadership. They had about 8 generals removed from their posts because they did not complete the task. Now new ones have been appointed.
‘We clearly understand what is happening in the Russian Federation. Moreover, I can say that they are desperate.’