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Rare intervention by veteran British spy-chief: Russia has blown it

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….but beware of China

es. Vienna, October 12, 2022

In an interview with the NYT ahead of his address today, Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ — the British electronic intelligence-gathering and cyber agency made famous for its role in breaking the Enigma codes in World War II — said he was skeptical about how far China would go to support Russia’s aggression.

“I don’t think that this is a ‘relationship without limits,’” he said, using the term that Putin of Russia and President Xi Jinping of China employed when they met at the Beijing Olympics early this year, just before the invasion of Ukraine. In light of Russia’s dismal battlefield performance and its brutality, he said, China “needs to be weighing up the advantages and disadvantage of continuing to align themselves strongly with Russia.”

Sir Jeremy Fleming

He told his audience yesterday:  “I would hope that we would see indicators if they started to go down that path…The way in which the Russian military machine and President Putin are conducting this war, they are staying within the doctrine that we understand for their use, including for nuclear weapons.”

He went on to explain in detail how far China had got in penetrating Western security and commercial secrets.

But this morning (12/10) in an interview with Sky News, UK, Ukrainian MP and film producer Lisa Yasko, 31, said that delays in delivering assistance to Ukraine were “incredibly frustrating”, and that she felt little comfort from suggestions that there were no signs Russia was about to deploy nuclear weapons.

“I know that sometimes, some western countries, they’re just far and they don’t feel the urgency, which is incredibly frustrating for us. Because you know, we don’t have time for discussion. So we are screaming, we are trying to do everything possible to defend with our weapons, our people, every second.”

She drew no comfort from Sir Jeremy’s playing down the likelihood of a nuclear strike by Putin:

Lisa Yasko

“The threat of nuclear war is very, very high. We understand that Putin doesn’t have any logic anymore. It’s not possible to justify Putin anymore. We understand that he is in the final battle of his life, where he wants to prove to all the world that he can do whatever he wants, including taking lands, killing thousands of people, destroying infrastructure, and we understand that nuclear threats and a strike is very possible.”

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