Ukraine: Leak reveals how deluded Putin gobbled up false intelligence from his own spies
Vladimir Putin thought he could defeat Ukraine and overthrow its government in just three days, according to leaked FSB intelligence.
The Russian despot launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 – almost one year to the day – leading to tens of thousands of casualties on both sides.
The leak appears to confirm what has long been reported: Putin’s spies told him his armed forces would quickly depose Volodymyr Zelensky and his administration, and that the people of Ukraine to welcome Russian soldiers with open arms.
In reality, Ukraine has since put up a fierce defence of its country. It’s forces drove Russia’s armies back from the capital in the first month, and have since pushed on in the north and south with lighting counteroffensives.
And one year on, Zelensky remains in power while Russian gains have been modest over the winter, which has seen a stalemate take hold in the east of Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin thought he could defeat Ukraine and overthrow its government in just three days, according to leaked FSB intelligence. Pictured: Putin attends a rally-concert ‘Glory to defenders of the Fatherland’ dedicated to the Defender of the Fatherland Day at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, February 22
The Russian despot launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 – almost one year to the day – leading to tens of thousands of casualties on both sides. Pictured: Destroyed Russian military vehicles are seen in the snow in March
Leaked emails from within Russia’s FSB intelligence service, seen by The Sun Online, shows Putin was told by those close to him there would be 2,000 pro-Russian people in every Ukrainian city waiting to overthrow their leader.
The source, known as Wind of Change, handed the emails to Russian human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin who founded ‘Gulagu’, which monitors Russian prisons.
‘We issued reports that at minimum about 2,000 trained civilians in every major city in Ukraine were ready to overthrow Zelensky,’ the report says, according to The Sun.
‘And that at least 5,000 civilians were prepared to come out with flags against Zelensky on the beck-and-call of Russia.’
The Sun says the emails are thought to have originally been written by a single FSB officer, but that now several contribute to the emails.
The report suggests that the FSB was informing Putin that once Zelensky had been removed from the top of Kyiv’s government, Ukrainians would turn to in-fighting in order to win Putin’s favour in the new iteration of their country.
‘Do you want a laugh? 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 is understood to say.
The report also asked what would happen if the plan ‘doesn’t work?’ This question was left unanswered when they planned to take Kiev in three days,’ it says.
In the first month of the war, the capital Kyiv saw Russian troops 19 miles from its doorstep and relentless attacks on energy infrastructure since.
Nevertheless, residents remained defiant, and the city’s defenders kept the vast Russian forces at bay, who were forced to refocus their attention in the east.
There have been several explanations put forward as to why this was, including poor and slow-moving Soviet-era tactics, poor intel, ageing equipment, and the weather.
Since then, Russia has gone on to suffer as many as 200,000 casualties, as well as several humiliating single blows to the likes of its Black Sea flagship the Moskva and the Kerch Bridge, which links Russia to the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsular.
On a whole, the report suggests the Kremlin severely underestimated Ukraine.
Speaking on Thursday, Zelensky expressed confidence in his country’s victory over the invaders, and fears of mounting of strikes on the war’s first anniversary.
Since failing to take Kyiv, Russia has gone on to suffer as many as 200,000 casualties, as well as several humiliating single blows to the likes of its Black Sea flagship the Moskva and the Kerch Bridge, which links Russia to the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsular
One year on, President Zelensky remains in power while Russian gains have been modest over the winter, which has seen a stalemate take hold in the east of Ukraine – despite Putin reportedly planning on his armies taking Kyiv within three days
The nearly year-long conflict has seen Western leaders step up their support for Kyiv, and on Thursday G7 ministers discussed new sanctions on Russia as the UN General Assembly prepared to vote on a motion calling for ‘lasting’ peace.
‘We have not broken down, we have overcome many ordeals and we will prevail. We will hold to account all those who brought this evil, this war to our land,’ Zelensky said on social media.
Ahead of the war’s first anniversary on February 24, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief said Russia was planning a missile attack to mark the day.
‘February 23-24, they have two dates,’ Kyrylo Budanov said in an interview to newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda, adding: ‘Believe me, we have survived this more than 20 times already.’