Western intelligence has repeatedly suggested that the failing offensive in Ukraine has ruined Vladimir Putin over the last week, leaving him “in a cage he build himself,” “misled” by his own army and immensely “weakened.”
Although the devastating attacks on Ukraine continue, there is a general consensus that the war has not exactly gone according to the Russian president’s plan and troops have moved back from the capital of Kyiv.
Here’s what officials from the U.K. and the U.S. have said about Russia’s efforts:
U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace ripped into Putin over his military failures in Ukraine on Thursday, and declared that the Russian president is now caught “in a cage he built himself.”
Wallace told Sky News: “President Putin is not the force he used to be.
“He is now a man in a cage he built himself. His army is exhausted, he has suffered significant losses.
“The reputation of this great army of Russia has been trashed.
“He has not only got to live with the consequences of what he is doing to Ukraine, but he has also got to live with consequences of what he has done to his own army.
“We have seen it before. It always get worse. It goes for more civilian attacks, more civilian areas.”
Russia has repeatedly denied that it is attacking civilian areas as part of its “special military operation” in Ukraine, despite evidence that bomb shelters and maternity hospitals have been targeted.
‘Misled’ By His Generals
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the U.K.’s chief of defense staff, expressed a similar point of view when he said Russia’s attempts to seize the whole of Ukraine have “fallen apart.”
Speaking at an Institute for Government event on Thursday, he said that Putin was a “weaker and more diminished figure” than he was prior to the invasion — while “NATO is stronger and more united today than at any time I can remember.”
He also alleged that Putin had been “misled” about how effective his forces were amid reports that Russia is withdrawing from Ukraine.
Some Kremlin aides are allegedly too afraid to tell the president how the invasion is actually going, although Moscow has denied this charge.
Radakin also said that the Kremlin appeared to be moving the emphasis onto the east and south of Ukraine, but predicted: “Ukraine armed forces will attack those Russian forces as they retreat.”
He also said: “In many ways, Putin has already lost. Far from being the far-sighted manipulator of events that he would have us believe, Putin has damaged himself through a series of catastrophic misjudgements.
“Like all authoritarians, he allowed himself to be misled as to his own strength, including the effectiveness of the Russian armed forces.”
Sir Jeremy Fleming, head of GCHQ intelligence agency, shared a similar warning Wednesday.
He said: “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.”
On Thursday night, the ministry of defense tweeted that Russia is now redeploying elements of its military forces from Georgia.
It claimed: “It is highly unlikely that Russia planned to generate reinforcements in this manner and it is indicative of the unexpected losses it has sustained during the invasion.”
The Kyiv Independent shared the Ukraine’s Armed Forces estimates when it comes to what Russia has lost since the war began on February 24.
Approximately, 17,700 troops have been lost, along with 1,220 vehicles, and 1,751 armoured personnel carriers.
The newspaper’s defense reporter Illia Ponomarenko also tweeted: “Russians basically came to Kyiv with an unbelievably stupid and unrealistic plan, killed a lot of people, ruined a lot of homes, and sustained heavy casualties. No results, no reserves.
“Now they just have to leave before they get slaughtered in a pocket northwest of Kyiv.”
In the U.S., the White House claimed there has been “incontrovertible evidence” that the war on Ukraine has “been a strategic disaster for Russia” on Thursday.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s communications director Kate Bedingfield told the press that Russia was trying to “redefine the initial aims of their invasion” as a result.
She continued: “We have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military, which has resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership.”
She also pointed out that it is becoming clearer Putin’s war will leave Russia “isolated on the world stage.”