Despite having indications that Ukrainians would resist a Russian invasion, Russia’s intelligence service assured the Kremlin differently.
The Washington Post has information to support that.
One Western official claimed that the Kremlin had “the notion that there would be flowers strewn along their path” according to intelligence officers.
Despite having information to the contrary, Russian intelligence officials continued to assure the Kremlin that Ukrainians would welcome an invasion by Russia, according to The Washington Post.
Before the February 24 invasion, surveys done by the FSB, Russia’s security service, revealed that a significant portion of Ukrainians would be eager to fight and would oppose a Russian invasion.
The Post reported that it is unclear if the FSB informed the Kremlin of the findings.
The FSB instead frequently provided the Kremlin with information stating that Ukrainians would welcome the coup and a new, Russia-supporting government, according to Ukrainian and Western sources who spoke to The Post.
Research & Branding, a company The Post claimed had “deep ties” to the FSB, conducted the polls.
Are you prepared to protect Ukraine in the event of such a necessity? was one question posed in a poll conducted in January, the month before the invasion. According to The Post, 48% of respondents answered in the affirmative. The Post later acquired the survey after first receiving it from Ukrainian intelligence.
According to numerous accounts, Russia anticipated capturing Ukraine easily; nonetheless, the unexpectedly fierce Ukrainian resistance played a significant role in Russia’s failure to accomplish so.
Why the FSB did not inform Russia’s authorities of what it knew is not entirely clear.
The Post was informed by officials that the FSB would have desired to appease the Kremlin and that those providing the FSB with information might have had their own political or financial motivations for wanting Russia to overthrow the government of Ukraine.
In March, the head of the UK’s spy agency made a comparable judgment.
“We believe Putin’s aides are afraid to tell him the truth,” GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming said. “What’s happening and the gravity of these misjudgments must be absolutely evident to the regime.”
According to a senior Western military official, the Russian military’s mistakes in trying to seize Ukraine were caused by the FSB’s inability to understand and convey the truth about Ukraine’s feelings.
The GRU and the military also had their fair share of wishful thinking, but the FSB was where it all began, he claimed.
The idea that flowers would be scattered in their way was an FSB exercise.
According to the BBC, Western intelligence also noted that Russia had an unfounded belief that it would be welcomed in Ukraine.
They truly expected flags would be out to welcome them, a Western intelligence officer told the channel.
The director of Research & Branding, according to The Post, did not reply to its inquiries.
Although Ukraine fought for and won independence in 1991, it was previously a part of the Soviet Union, and Russia has often attempted to portray it as Russian territory.
As part of his argument for the invasion, Putin has erroneously attempted to paint Ukraine as a nation that has never truly achieved independence and claimed Ukraine as Russian territory.
In February, he stated: “Let me reiterate that Ukraine is not just a neighboring country to us. It is a crucial component of our history, culture, and spiritual realm.”
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