Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine will be a ‘total failure’ comparable to the collapse of Nazi Germany, a report by a so-called FSB analyst has claimed.
The over 2,000-word report added that Russia’s forces have ‘no options to victory, only defeat’ as they continue to meet strong Ukrainian resistance, that experts believe has surprised many in Moscow including the president himself.
It said that the number of Russians killed in Ukraine could already be over 10,000 – a figure similar to that reported by Kyiv officials – and far more than the 498 dead soldiers officially acknowledged by the Kremlin.
The whistleblower also claimed the FSB – Russia’s successor to the Soviet Union’s feared KGB – was being blamed for the failure of Moscow’s forces to make significant progress into Ukraine, despite being given no advanced warning of the invasion.
The report also said Russia’s government has lost contact with a number of its divisions that have been sent into Ukraine, meaning they had no accurate death toll.
Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine will be a ‘total failure’ comparable to the collapse of Nazi Germany, a report by a so-called FSB analyst has claimed. Pictured: Destroyed Russian armored vehicles are seen in the city of Bucha, west of Kyiv, on March 4, 2022
Russian human rights activist and operator of the anti-corruption website Gulagu.net Vladimir Osechkin published the report on Facebook last week, according to The Times.
Christo Grozev, an expert on Russia’s security services who works for investigative journalism group Bellingcat, said he has shown the report two current or former FSB contacts who told him they had ‘no doubt it was written by a colleague’.
Writing on Twitter, Grozev said that while his contacts did not necessarily agree with all the assertions in the report, they were confident in its origin.
Giving hope to the people of Ukraine in the face of devastating attacks by Russian forces, the report said that Putin’s chances of victory in Ukraine are non-existent.
‘By and large, [Russia] has no way out. It’s just that there is no option for a possible victory, and defeat is everything,’ the report said.
It compared Russia’s mistakes to those made by Nazi Germany at the end of the Second World War, and said that Moscow’s ‘starting position’ was akin to ‘Germany in 1943-44’ – when Hitler’s chances of victory were collapsing on two fronts.
The whistleblower claimed that FSB officers have been ordered to assess the effects Western sanctions are having on Russia. The ruble has all-but collapsed and Russia has become an international pariah.
But despite the very real economic devastation, the report said officers were told that it was a hypothetical box-ticking exercise.
The over 2,000 word report added that Russia’s forces have ‘no options to victory, only defeat’ as they continue to meet strong Ukrainian resistance, that experts believe has surprised many in Moscow including the president himself. Pictured: Putin is seen on Saturday near Moscow
‘You have to write the analysis in a way that makes Russia the victor… otherwise you get questioned for not doing good work,’ the report says. ‘Suddenly it happens and everything comes down to your completely groundless analysis.’
The letter, published in the early hours of Friday morning, also says that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov – who is usually a staunch ally of Putin’s – is furious with Moscow after his ‘kill squad’ sent to assassinate Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky was instead destroyed by Ukrainian troops.
Zelensky is said to be Putin’s No. 1 target, but even if the Russian president was successful in killing his Ukrainian counterpart, the report says that Moscow would still be unable to occupy Ukraine.
‘Even with minimum resistance from the Ukrainians we’d need over 500,000 people, not including supply and logistics workers,’ the author claims.
The author also addressed the likelihood of Putin launching a nuclear strike against the West, saying it was a possibility.
They also wrote that Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, was trying to find evidence that Ukraine had built nuclear weapons to justify a pre-emptive strike.
‘Is there a possibility of a local nuclear strike? Yes. Not for military purposes (it will not give anything – this is a defense breakthrough weapon), but with the aim of intimidating others,’ they wrote.
‘At the same time, the soil is being prepared to turn everything to Ukraine – Naryshkin and his SVR are now digging the earth to prove that they secretly created nuclear weapons there.’
Pictured: Russian armored vehicles in the city of Bucha, west of Kyiv, on March 4, 2022. According to the report, the number of Russians killed in Ukraine could already be over 10,000 – a figure that has also been reported by Kyiv officials – far more than the 498 dead soldiers officially acknowledged by the Kremlin
But despite saying there was a possibility of such a horrific event, the author added: ‘From the cynical, I will only add that I do not believe that VV Putin will press the red button to destroy the whole world.
‘Firstly, there is more than one person making a decision, at least someone will jump off. And there are a lot of people there – there is no ‘one-man red button,’ they wrote.
‘Secondly, there are some doubts that everything is functioning [in Russia’s nuclear deterrent],’ they added, continuing: ‘Thirdly, and this is the most vile and sad thing, I personally do not believe in the readiness to sacrifice oneself of a person who does not let the members of the Federation Council, but his closest representatives and ministers, come close to him.
‘For fear of the coronavirus or an attack, it doesn’t matter. If you are afraid to let the most trusted people near you, then how will you dare to destroy yourself and your loved ones.’
Amid concerns that Russia could put some of Ukraine’s cities such as the capital of Kyiv under siege, the author of the report said this was unlikely.
‘Keep under siege? According to the experience of military conflicts in the same Europe in recent decades (Serbia is the largest testing ground here), cities can be under siege for years, and even function,’ they wrote.
‘Humanitarian convoys from Europe [will be there in a] matter of time,’ they added.
The report also said the government has lost contact with a number of its divisions that have been sent into Ukraine, meaning they had no accurate death toll. Pictured: A destroyed Russian army all-terrain vehicle Tigr-M (Tiger) on a road in Kharkiv, Ukraine February 28, 2022
Pictured: A destroyed Russian military vehicles in the Sumy region, north-eastern Ukraine
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The report claims Russian forces have a ‘provisional deadline’ of June to successfully capture Ukraine, but the author said they would not last until then.
‘We have a conditional deadline of June. Conditional – because in June we have no economy left, nothing remains,’ the report said.
‘By and large, next week there will be a turning point in one of the sides, simply because the situation cannot be in such an overstrain.’
The writer said that they could not rule out the war escalating into an international conflict.
They said they were expected an advisor to send an ultimatum to the West threatening war if the heavy sanctions imposed on Russia were not removed.
‘What if the West refuses?’ they said. ‘In that instance I won’t exclude that we will be pulled into a real international conflict, just like Hitler in 1939.’
Bellingcat’s Grozev was the person who reported the identities of the Salisbury poisoners in 2018. He said that while ‘Ukraine had previously leaked fake FSB letters as psy-ops,’ the report ‘appeared different’.
‘It came via a reputable source [Osechkin] and it was way longer than a forger would choose to make it,’ he wrote.
There are signs that dissent is growing in Russia as more information slips past the Kremlin’s propaganda machine.
Over the weekend, a Russian lawmaker spoke out about what she said are heavy losses being suffered by some military units fighting in Ukraine.
Lyudmila Narusova, a member of Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, said during Friday’s livestreamed proceedings that she knew of one company which was meant to be 100 strong but ‘only four were left alive’ when the unit was withdrawn.
Narusova, the widow of President Vladimir Putin’s former political mentor Anatoly Sobchak, did not present evidence for her claims and said the Defense Ministry had refused her request to confirm the reported casualties.
Well into the second week of war, Russia’s plan to quickly overrun the country has been stymied by fierce resistance.
Its troops have made significant advances in southern Ukraine and along the coast, but many of its efforts have become stalled, including an immense military convoy that has been almost motionless for days north of Kyiv.
Today, Russia announced a yet another cease-fire and a handful of humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to flee Ukraine starting Monday, but previous such measures have fallen apart and Moscow’s armed forces continued to pummel some Ukrainian cities with rockets even after the announcement.
Lyudmila Narusova, a member of Russia’s upper house of parliament and ally of Vladimir Putin suggested during Friday’s livestreamed proceedings that the true number of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine is higher than that being reported by the Kremlin
A day earlier, hundreds of thousands of civilians attempting to flee to safety were forced to shelter from what Ukrainian officials said was Russian shelling in cities in the center, north and south.
Ahead of a third round of talks planned for Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said a cease-fire would start in the morning, and safe passages would open for civilians from the capital of Kyiv, the southern port city of Mariupol, and the cities of Kharkiv and Sumy.
Some of the evacuation routes, however, would funnel civilians toward Russia or its ally Belarus – unlikely destinations for many Ukrainians who would prefer to head toward countries on the western and southern borders.
A senior Ukrainian official rejected those proposals.
It wasn’t immediately clear if fighting would stop beyond the areas mentioned or when the cease-fire would end. Hopes were dim that the latest round of talks would yield any breakthroughs.
The fighting has sent energy prices surging worldwide, stocks plummeting, and is threatening the food supply and livelihoods of people around the world who rely on farmland in the Black Sea region.
The death toll from the fighting, meanwhile, remains unclear. The U.N. says it has confirmed just a few hundred civilian deaths but also warned that the number is a vast undercount.
Police for the Kharkiv region said Monday that 209 people have died there alone – 133 of them civilians.
The Russian invasion has also pushed 1.5 million people to flee the country, creating what the head of the U.N. refugee agency called ‘the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.’