Russian soldiers refuse to carry out orders in Ukraine

A destroyed Russian military vehicle is seen on a road on the outskirts of Trostyanets, Ukraine. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

New intelligence from Ukraine shows that some Russian troops are refusing to carry out orders, even going so far as to sabotage their equipment, Jeremy Fleming, head of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), said Wednesday.

The spy’s head shared the information during a speech at the Australian National University in Canberra. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin has “massively misjudged his military’s capabilities”, adding: “We believe Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth.”

Ukraine has fought back harder than Putin expected, Fleming said, and “we have seen Russian soldiers — short of weapons and morale — refuse to obey orders, sabotage their own equipment and even accidentally shoot down their own plane.”

In addition, it is estimated that Russia is experiencing failure rates as high as 60 percent for some of its precision-guided missiles, three US officials with intelligence knowledge said. Reuters† Russia’s defense ministry has denied reports of disagreement and has accused the West of lying about the invasion of Ukraine.

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