Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired as many as eight of his top generals as the Kremlin has failed to capture Kyiv after two weeks of invading Ukraine, as per unverified reports. Putin's move came as there have been doubts over the armed forces' strategy to finish the war despite having massive military might.
When Putin had launched the invasion of Ukraine, his military leaders had hoped to capture Kyiv within days. But after two weeks of the invasion, Kyiv is out of the control of the Kremlin.
The development has reportedly angered Putin as failed intel reports and strategic blunders caused an embarrassment to Russian troops as they faced defeat at some fronts from Ukraine sides in the early days of the war.
The Russian President is also angered at the Federal Security Service (FSB) for poor intel reports in connection with Ukraine.
The head of Ukraine's Security Council, Oleksiy Danilov, said that 'around eight' Russian commanders have been fired since the start of the conflict as Moscow scrambles to change strategy after its attempted 'shock and awe' blitz fell flat, reported the Daily Mail.
Putin Infuriated With FSB
Russia's top intelligence agency FSB -- which succeded Soviet era's KGB -- provided intel reports to top brass that Ukraine's defense is poor and the country is riddled with neo-Nazi groups and Moscow can capture it within days after launching the invasion.
The inputs proved to be wrong and have infuriated the Russian President, forcing him to reshape his invasion strategies.
Security expert and former senior British intelligence officer Philip Ingram said Putin is obviously 'very angry' and is blaming his intelligence agencies, according to The Times.
Poor Intel Reports Led to Russia's Losses
The expert underlined that poor intel reports seeded to the top brass led to a fragile strategy and resulted in the massive loss to Russia's weaponry and troops.
The Kremlin had anticipated a little resistance from Ukraine and with this regard, it sent light forces backed by the airstrikes. But they met with stronger defense from the Ukrainian side.
So far, Ukraine has said that nearly 12,000 Russian troops have died, which expert say is doubtful as it's a massive number to believe. European intel has reported it nearly 6,000-9,000 and the US intel put it at nearly 3,000.
Whichever is accurate, the Kremlin certainly faced much more loss than it had anticipated while planning the invasion.
Ukraine's head of security council Danilov also said that Kyiv has a clear understanding of whatever plans Russia has for Ukraine.
Moscow has changed its plan since the beginning of the war, said Danilov, adding, that their plan had failed to march in the streets of Kyiv within days after launching the invasion.
Danilov also noted that the Kremlin has changed its leadership since the start of the invasion as they have fired eight generals from their position over their failure to complete the target and the new people have been appointed at their positions.
Underlining that current time Russia is much desperate as their invasion plan has failed, Danilov said that it is not clear exactly why Russian intelligence received ahead of the operation in Ukraine was so poor.
FSB Not Fit For Job
One possibility is that the Russian secret service is not fit for the job, said Andrei Soldatov, who has experience in monitoring the Russian secret service for nearly two decades.
The expert told The Times that a large part of the FSB's recruitment is based on legacy as it hires those persons whose parents or grandparents have been agents. After recruitment, the persons are removed from the mainstream schools and are educated in-house, a process that separated them from understanding the actual nature of the society.
The Western agencies' recruitment is different as they focus on the elite colleges and receive candidates from those places, ensuring they get cream of the crop.
Tailoring of Key Inputs
Concerning the poor intel reports, Soldatov focused on another possibility saying that it could have been the case that FSB was aware of Ukraine's capabilities but it did not have dared to tell Putin the truth and presented him a fabricated intel report only to appease him.
Top officials of the secret agency find it very risky to tell the top brass information which they do not want to hear, said Soldatov, adding, it leads to the tailoring the key information.