MAD Vlad Putin may abandon plans to capture Kyiv as countless Russian soldiers would be killed, spooks now believe.
Spies say the death toll of an all-out assault on Ukraine’s capital may even be too much for the evil Kremlin tyrant to stomach.
A Western official said: “An ill-judged ground assault on a city as well prepared as Kyiv, with really determined and committed defenders, would be a fairly costly business.
“And I think there comes a point where even Russia has to count the cost of casualties.
They said Putin’s forces were getting “bogged down” around the outskirts of Kyiv after suffering ambushes by heroic Ukrainians.
As many as 7,000 Russian troops have been killed in the bloody fighting so far as Putin’s battleplan continues to fall apart.
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Spies fear the crazed despot could resort to even more brutal firepower that could blow entire cities to smithereens.
A western official said there was “big concern” he could create another Grozny, the Chechan city pummelled in the 1990s.
Soldiers fed Putin’s lie that they would be welcomed as liberators are struggling to occupy cities because of resistance.
The official said the plan was to “walk in, decapitate the local leadership and receive the adulation of a welcoming population”.
They added Russia would likely resort to “brutalise the population” and “destroy” the cities to save face.
Failure to completely capture a single Ukrainian is humiliating Putin who has lost four top generals and has not “achieved a strategic breakthrough at any point”.
His legendary paratroopers have also been picked off by plucky Ukrainians.
Taras Kuzio, an Associate Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, says dozens of Russian paratroopers were killed in their doomed bid to take Hostomel airport.
Dramatic footage also shows a Russian tank being blown to bits.