Cars burn after Russian missile strikes as the Russian offensive continues in Kyiv, Ukraine on October 10, 2022.
Valentin Ogirenko | Reuters
Russia has dramatically escalated its missile attacks on Ukraine in the past 48 hours, but experts say the country is running out of options – as well as supplies and ammunition – on the battlefield.
Sirens sounded again in multiple regions of Ukraine Tuesday, with emergency services warning of the possibility of more Russian strikes. Ukrainian officials reported that energy infrastructure in the western city of Lviv was bombed earlier, while the southern city of Zaporizhia was targeted this morning.
The latest strikes come a day after a series of Russian attacks – launched in response to the bombing of Russia’s valuable Kerch Strait bridge to Crimea last weekend – hit several Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kyiv. Emergency services said the strikes left at least 19 people dead and more than 100 injured.
Ukraine’s leadership said it would not frighten the recent wave of attacks, as President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to inflict more pain on Russian forces on the battlefield.
Despite Moscow’s latest show of force in the last day or so, experts say Russian forces appear increasingly desperate and ill-equipped.
“We know – and the Russian commanders on the ground – that they are running out of supplies and ammunition,” Jeremy Fleming, director of the GCHQ, one of Britain’s largest intelligence agencies, said on Tuesday.
“The Russian forces are exhausted. The use of captives for reinforcement, and now the mobilization of tens of thousands of inexperienced conscripts, speaks of a desperate situation,” he said in Rossi’s annual lecture.
The Russian people are beginning to understand the reality surrounding the war, according to Fleming. “They see how much Putin has misjudged the situation. They are fleeing conscription, realizing they can no longer travel. They know that their access to modern technologies and outside influences will be greatly restricted. And they feel the terrible human cost of his war of choice.”
Armored vehicles and tanks of the Russian forces, after their withdrawal from Lyman, Donetsk region, Ukraine, were destroyed on October 5, 2022.
Metin Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Far from “the inevitable Russian military victory unleashed by their propaganda machine,” Ukraine’s bravery on the battlefield and in cyberspace, in the face of Russian propaganda, “turned the tide” in the war,” says Fleming.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision-making appears to be increasingly flawed with a “high-risk strategy … that leads to strategic errors of judgment.”
CNBC contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for a response to Fleming’s comments and has yet to receive a response.
Fleming is not alone in believing that Russia is in the throes of death in war – and at home.
Christoph Heusgen, president of the Munich Security Conference, told CNBC last week that there were signs that Russia was “collapse.”
It’s a black hole [in] He said: “Russia has a monopoly on communications, over the media, and its popularity is still high, but left and right, things are falling apart. The army is under heavy criticism, the industry is not producing, there are signs that the country is collapsing, but it is difficult to see how it will turn out and how long it will take.” But the end of the Putin regime is going faster,” he told CNBC in Warsaw.
“Did you think that the Ukrainian army is in place today, and they are advancing?”
The multiple attacks on Ukraine on Monday followed a strategic and symbolic blow to Russia: an explosion partially destroyed the Kerch Bridge linking the Russian mainland to Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed in 2014.
Kyiv did not claim responsibility for the bridge attack, although the explosion was widely seen as humiliating Moscow and creating another obstacle for Russia to supply its forces in occupied areas of southern Ukraine.
In his Monday evening address, Zelensky said the strikes would not frighten Ukraine, and vowed that the battlefield would become “more painful” for Russia in response.
Russian citizens recruited as part of the partial mobilization attend combat exercises at training sites in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues in Donetsk, Ukraine on October 5, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Lesia Vasylenko, a Ukrainian legislator, agreed. She told CNBC Tuesday that the country was prepared for more Russian attacks.
He added, “We were not afraid on February 24th [when Russia’s invasion began]We have not been afraid for eight years and we have not been intimidated for centuries.”
“The only way to escape from this reality is to repel the aggression and repel the Russian army.”