Russian operations in Ukraine are doomed and they are failing their military objective, the head of the British Secret Service has said.
Sir Richard Moore, 60, who was appointed to the head of the secret service, also known as MI6, in 2020, said in a speech made at Politico that the Russian people had a choice – either continue to stand by as the war unfolds or 'join hands' with the international community.
He said: "Many Russians are wrestling with the same dilemmas, and the same tugs of conscience as their predecessors did in 1968.
"I invite them to do what others have already done this past 18 months and join hands with us.
Sir Richard said there was "little prospect" of the Russian forces regaining ground.
"Today's ruinous war will only truly end when a sovereign Ukraine lives in freedom.
"To bring forward that moment, Ukraine's armed forces are now on the offensive, demonstrating their astonishing ability to innovate and mobilise new technology.
"And there appears now to be little prospect of the Russian forces regaining momentum.
He added: "In the last month, Ukraine has liberated more territory than Russia captured in the last year."
Sir Richard also condemned "accomplices", countries such as Iran, for aiding Russia and providing them with deadly drone systems, accusing them of seeking to make a profit from the conflict.
He also outlined how African nations had used Russian Wagner mercenaries to keep their regimes in power in exchange for securing wealth and resources for the Kremlin.
In his speech, Sir Richard also spoke about how work in the MI6 intelligence service would be affected by developments in artificial intelligence (AI).
He added: "Human intelligence in the age of artificial intelligence will increasingly be defined as those things that machines cannot do.
"Albeit we should expect the frontiers of machine capability to advance at startling speed.
"My teams are now using AI to augment, but not replace, their own judgment about how people might act in various situations.
"In future, as AI begins to overtake some aspects of human cognition, it's possible that digital tools may come to understand, or rather to be able to predict, human behaviour better than humans can.
"But there will always be an extraordinary bound that allows one person to genuinely confide in another, united by a sense of common humanity and purpose, the essence of the human factor."