Putin engages in 'Stalinist' purge of his intel agencies after Ukraine invasion flounders: report
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Kremlin. Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Christo Grozev, executive director of Bellingcat, is reporting that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a mass purge at his intelligence agencies amid his country's floundering invasion of Ukraine.

As relayed by the London Times, which described the purge as "Stalinist," Grozev said he has learned over 100 intelligence agents have been dismissed from the Federal Security Bureau, including some who have even been arrested.

What's more, Grozev claims that 68-year-old former FSB chief Sergei Beseda has been sent to a prison in Moscow after being put under house arrest last month.

Andrei Soldatov, an expert on the Russian security services, tells The Times that he was "surprised" that Beseda was imprisoned, and it shows Putin knows how poorly the war has gone so far.

“Putin could have very easily just fired him or sent him off to some regional job in Siberia," he said. "Lefortovo [prison] is not a nice place and sending him there is a signal as to how seriously Putin takes this stuff.”

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been marked by mistaken Russian intelligence assumptions about the willingness of Ukrainians to resist Russian forces, as well as assorted logistical failures that have left troops without sufficient supplies.

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