The Kremlin was so sure of victory in Ukraine, a prime Russian official had already picked out a pad in Kyiv earlier than the struggle started, intelligence has reportedly revealed.
In February, earlier than Russian troops crossed the border with Ukraine, Moscow’s energy brokers assumed it might be a brief and simple struggle, in accordance with intelligence supplied to the Washington Put up.
Igor Kovalenko, a senior FSB official who had run spies in Ukraine, was amongst them. Based on the intercepts by Ukrainian intelligence and their Western counterparts, Kovalenko had his eye on an condo in Kyiv, asking an FSB subordinate for the contact data for the informant who lived there.
Ukrainian intelligence mentioned the informant admitted he acquired directions to go away town within the days main as much as the beginning of the struggle — and to go away his keys behind so the Russians might use his condo overlooking the Dnieper River.
Certainly, the Russians had been so sure they’d occupy Kyiv that they gave related directions to informants and moles all through the Ukrainian capital, getting ready a community of secure homes for operatives and lodging for officers.
However Russian troopers have but to set foot in Kyiv.
Simply over a month after the invasion started, Russian forces, slowed down across the capital and unable to encircle it, beat a hasty retreat.
Russian propaganda on the time performed the transfer for Kyiv off as a feint, placing Ukraine on the again foot so it might go after its true purpose — the jap industrial area generally known as the Donbas, the place Russian troops are slowed down at the moment.
The communication intercepts, nonetheless, present not solely that Russia supposed to take the capital and “decapitate” the Ukrainian authorities by taking out its management — a purpose lengthy reported by Ukrainian and Western intelligence companies; the intercepts present that the Russians thought it’d be straightforward.
“They anticipated someone to open the gate,” A senior Ukrainian official informed the Washington Put up. “They didn’t count on any resistance.”