UK Spy Chief Sees Russia’s Military Running ‘Out of Steam’ Soon

  • MI6 head Richard Moore sees no sign Putin is in poor health
  • Big advantage of US, UK over China is ‘we have allies’
Richard Moore Photographer: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images/Getty Images

The head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service says Russia’s war effort in Ukraine is faltering and President Vladimir Putin will be forced to temporarily halt his invasion, potentially allowing Ukrainian troops a greater opportunity to strike back.

“They’re about to run out of steam,” Richard Moore, the head of MI6, said at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday in a rare public appearance outside his nation. 

“Our assessment is the Russians will increasingly find it difficult to find manpower, materiel over the next few weeks,” Moore said. “They will have to pause in some way, and that will give the Ukrainians opportunities to strike back.”

Asked about rumors that Putin is ailing, Moore said there was “no evidence” that the Russian leader was “suffering from serious ill health.” He said  Russian intelligence agents clearly underestimated Ukrainian nationalism and defense capabilities, and were probably afraid to “speak truth to power” up the chain of command given Putin’s desire for an invasion. 

Moore’s remarks came at the Aspen Security Forum, an annual gathering of foreign policy experts and White House officials that has been dominated by discussions about Russia’s invasion and the risks of China’s rise. Moore emphasized US-UK cooperation on intelligence-sharing, a day after CIA Director Bill Burns called Moore an “exceptional friend.” 

Iran Deal 

The UK spy chief was nevertheless pessimistic about the Biden administration’s efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal abandoned by former President Donald Trump. 

Although Moore said he thought reviving the agreement would be the best way to constrain Iran’s nuclear activities, he said it wasn’t likely that the Islamic nation’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was interested.

“I’m not convinced we’re going to get there,” Moore said of efforts to sign a new version of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “I don’t think the Supreme Leader of Iran wants to cut a deal.”

China Risk

Turning to another global hot spot, Moore said MI6 is now devoting more resources to China — which he said poses a clear threat to Western governments and societies — than to any other single subject within the service, saying it had just moved past counterterrorism in terms of importance.

“It reflects the seriousness of the mission for us,” Moore said. “We shouldn’t be naive about what the Chinese are trying to do to our societies.”

While Moore said China has a huge number of spies, with hundreds of thousands of civilian intelligence officers in addition to its military intelligence, he said that the “Five Eyes” bloc of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand still has an edge.

“We have this huge advantage that the Chinese don’t: We have friends, we have allies,” he said.


  1. “Our assessment is the Russians will increasingly find it difficult to find manpower, materiel over the next few weeks,”

    Sending the right material in the right numbers can accelerate and exasperate this process greatly. If only Western leaders would FINALLY see this truth! The war COULD already be over!

    “We shouldn’t be naive about what the Chinese are trying to do to our societies.”

    This is another topic that is spoken about, but hardly anything done about. China has been watching the West VERY closely how it reacted to mafia land’s full-blown war in Ukraine. The lessons learned are not very good for us! The West has shown disunity, cowardice, lethargy, idiocy, a lack of foresight, appeasement and greed. Things could have and should have been handled much better. China knows that its effort to take Taiwan won’t be as difficult as it thought. Too tightly is the West’s connection to its industrial umbilical cord. Instead of disconnecting it, the West is increasing its addiction. The lessons of the Ukraine war provides the Chicoms with the other required info on any potential consequences … or lack thereof.

    Liked by 4 people

    • We can take some comfort from the fact that when Chinese have their freedom, they behave as normal people in democracies. Taiwan and HK under the British mandate prove that.
      Could RuSSians do the same? I’d have said no, but there are encouraging signs from Cyprus. The small Ukrainian diaspora was joined by members of the much larger Russian diaspora for anti-putler protests. In fact the Russians organised themselves into a a regular protest group.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I guess there always is a silver lining in every cloud. So far, I’ve had more negative experiences with ruskies in regard to putler, Ukraine and the war, than positive ones. Of course, I am always open to get surprised favorably.

        Liked by 2 people

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