After Russia’s defeat in Lyman, in eastern Ukraine, last weekend, retired Army Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, who commanded U.S. Army forces in Europe from 2014 until 2018, also admitted that he had “overestimated Russia’s capabilities” before it invaded Ukraine because he “failed to realize the depth of corruption” in the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The inability of the U.S. intelligence community to recognize the significance of Russian corruption appears to be the result of an over-reliance on technical intelligence. Before the war, high-tech satellites and surveillance systems allowed the U.S. to track the deployment of Russian troops, tanks, and planes, and to eavesdrop on Russian military officials, enabling U.S. intelligence to accurately predict the timing of the invasion. But it would have needed more human spies inside Russia to see that the Russian army and defense industries were deeply corrupt.

Since the war began, a long list of weaknesses in the Russian military and its defense industries have been exposed, symbolized by the so-called jack-in-the-box flaw in Russian tanks. Ukrainian forces quickly learned that one well-placed shot could blow off a Russian tank turret, sending it sky high and killing the entire crew. It became clear that Russian tanks had been designed and built cheaply — with ammunition stored openly in a ring inside the turret that can explode when the turret is hit — and that crew safety had not been prioritized. In July, Adm. Tony Radakin, Britain’s military chief, said that Russia had lost almost 1,700 tanks in Ukraine.

Weak leadership, poor training, and low morale have led to huge casualties among Russian rank and file soldiers. In August, the Pentagon estimated that 70,000 to 80,000 Russian troops had been killed or wounded in Ukraine. Ukraine has also suffered huge casualties, but Russian front-line strength has been badly weakened.

Meanwhile, one of the biggest mysteries for U.S. analysts has been Russia’s failure to gain control of Ukraine’s skies, despite having a far larger air force. Aircraft design flaws, poor pilot training, and gaps in aircraft maintenance have left Russian aircraft vulnerable to Ukraine’s air defenses, which have been bolstered with Stinger missiles and other Western air defense systems.

The failure of U.S. intelligence to see the dysfunction in the Russian army and defense industries means that it also didn’t foresee Russia’s ongoing battlefield defeats, which are now having a profound political and social impact on both Putin and Russia. Putin has ordered a partial mobilization to replace heavy battlefield losses, sparking large-scale protests. At least 200,000 people have already fled Russia, including thousands of young men seeking to avoid conscription.