News Bilder des Tages April 23, 2022, Confidential, Mykolaiv s Oblast, Ukraine: Soldier carrying a submachine gun inside a trench on the frontline between Mykolaiv and Kherson, Ukraine on April 23, 2022. Confidential Ukraine - ZUMAc182 20220423_zip_c182_001 Copyright: xVincenzoxCircostax

A week before Russia invaded Ukraine, Jim Hockenhull, head of British military intelligence, had a map published on Twitter that outlined the possible scenarios of an invasion. According to the BBC, which has now given Hockenhull one of its rare interviews (source here), the intelligence chief had a hunch that Putin was planning an attack as early as November 2021.

Secret service information from the Ukraine is now also being collected at Hockenhull’s authority. Hockenhull expresses surprise at Russian failures at all levels; in the army, but also politically. He sees a deep distrust between the power elites in the Kremlin and the troops. He sees political interference as one of the biggest problems for the Russians in Ukraine. There were also problems with logistics and the command structure. Ukraine, on the other hand, is fighting better than expected – the ongoing and unified support from the West was also not expected.

Hockenhull expects a long conflict between Russia and Ukraine. He no longer expects major military actions – such as a recapture of the Cherson region by Ukrainian troops – this year. However, if Putin is cornered militarily, Hockenhull does not rule out the possibility that he could resort to tactical nuclear weapons. Russian military doctrine allows them to be used. “We are monitoring this very, very closely,” he explains.

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