Putin almost won the Ukraine war before the military plans failed: Danish Intel

According to a Danish intelligence officer, Russia almost won its war in Ukraine before its military plans fell apart.

In an interview with the Danish newspaper Berlingskethe head of Russian analysis for Danish intelligence agency Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE), identified only by his first name Joakim, said Danish officials initially believed Russia would take over Ukraine in just two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the “special military operation”.

More than 10 months later, Russia continues to try to offset mounting casualties in Ukraine, which responded to the invasion with a stronger than expected defense effort, bolstered significantly by military aid from Western allies. Meanwhile, the invasion has exposed weaknesses in Putin’s military, despite its much larger size.

In the first weeks of the invasion, Joakim said, “they came close to” winning the war, but poor decisions by the Kremlin cost Russia the expected quick victory. According to the interview, he pointed to Putin’s ideological beliefs, and not poor intelligence, as the main reason for Russia’s failure.

Putin almost won the war in Ukraine: Dutch secret services
Above is a picture of Russian military cadets next to an inset of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia almost won the war in Ukraine before a series of military failures allowed Ukraine to retake occupied territory.
OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images; Contributor/Getty Images

“We put a lot of the blame for this on Putin’s shoulders,” he said. For example, he cited decision-making in a small group of his allies that was only shared with others at the “last minute,” saying it created confusion among the troops. Calling the invasion a special military operation rather than a war also backfired, as only certain troops could fight until September, when Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists.

“These are pretty small factors that ultimately decided the outcome,” said Joakim.

He believes that Putin is still interfering in the military’s warfare. He described a recent meeting with his military leaders in December as “the worst idea in the world”.

“He has a general fighting this war. So he shouldn’t sit there and get input from all these other generals,” he told the Danish newspaper. He also said he doubts Russia will be able to launch a winter offensive because of its ill-equipped troops.

The newspaper’s report comes as Putin has been criticized for failing to meet significant goals in the Ukraine war that has claimed more than 100,000 Russian soldiers. In the fall, the Ukrainians retook thousands of square miles of previously occupied territory.

Nevertheless, Russia had some successes in the first weeks of the war and quickly conquered regions in the south-east of the country. Putin’s forces also made significant advances in areas around Kyiv, where they faced allegations of human rights abuses and war crimes against civilians.

said Joakim Berlingske that efforts near Kyiv turned sour after failing to defeat Ukraine’s air defenses to deliver more troops to the region.

A December report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) found that amid mounting criticism, Putin canceled a parliamentary speech as he struggles to sell his narrative of the war.

In addition, according to the ISW, he is said to have canceled a press conference “to avoid answering questions about Russia’s military failures without resorting to overly blatant manipulation of questioners and questions.”

news week has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/putin-nearly-won-ukraine-war-before-military-plans-fell-apart-danish-intel-1770723 Putin almost won the Ukraine war before the military plans failed: Danish Intel

Rick Schindler

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