'A sign of desperation': Russia expert thinks Putin's military is in much worse shape than you think

In a Twitter thread posted this Friday, Eastern Europe expert Sergej Sumlenny, whose work has focused on Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, said that while it's too early to say for sure, he thinks that "Russia and its army are about to collapse," in the wake of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

"RU [Russia] obviously has no reserves left: the tanks they send to the front are very old, without active armor, look like training machines. They do not have trucks, using civilian ones," Sumlenny tweeted.

"Russian flat-bombing of Ukrainian cities is the opposite of what a nation which is about to conquer its wealthy neighbor (and Ukrainian province is wealthier than Russia's one) It is a sign of desperation," he writes. "Exactly as the attempt to use Red-Cross-marked trucks as ammo transports."

Sumlenny goes on to point out that the number of Russian military hardware taken out by Ukrainians has increased in the past few days, as well as the number of high-level Russian commanders. He also says that Russia's policies at home also suggest trouble for Putin.

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"Russia has changed in a rush its legislation, allowing imprisonments (starting from tomorrow!) for up to 15 years for spreading truth about this war. Facebook is blocked in Russia starting from now. This is not what a winning autocracy with full control over its media does," Sumlenny tweeted, adding that effectively, "Ukraine has eliminated Russian ground forces."

"Combined with economic sanctions, free-fall of Russian currency, pull-back of Western companies (essential for any part of Russian economy) and the consequences of having a highly corrupt and militarized economy, Russia will face also internal troubles very soon."

Read his full Twitter thread here.