Status: 22.09.2023, 05:00 a.m.
By: Karsten Hinzmann
Pithy words from the head of the Ukrainian intelligence service: he predicts victory over Russia by the end of 2024 at the latest.
Kyiv – Kyrylo Budanov leaves no doubt: Russia will not last another year in the Ukraine war. This is what the lieutenant general and head of the military security service said at the "Yalta European Strategy" congress (YES) in Kiev, as reported newsweek.com, among other things: The Russian leadership has overdone itself with the large-scale invasion. Budanov even wanted to see "sure signs of panic" among the Russian population in the face of drone attacks by Ukraine. At the same time, he wants to expand strategic bombardments.
He sees the enemy "physically on the ground," Budanov said, and long resistance is no longer to be expected: "Based on our data, I personally believe that the war will not be a prolonged conflict." He considers the war to be won by the end of 2024 and Ukraine's internationally recognized borders to be restored.
Ukraine war: Budanov wants to win instead of negotiating
According to his own statements, the intelligence officer regards compromises after negotiations as a simple "freezing of armed conflicts," as he said. That is why he sees no alternative to the continuation of Russia's strategic bombardments by Ukrainian drones. Most recently, Ukrainian drones had even hit Moscow's city center. Budanov's remarks thus also cast a shadow over the discussions about the supply of Taurus cruise missiles from Germany.
The German government is currently discussing whether it will supply Kyiv with the Taurus system in the Ukraine war. This would allow targets to be hit far behind the front line in Russia, which justifies the doubts of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). It slows down delivery due to their range. In fact, Budanov's recent statements indicate that he wants to bring the Russian aggressors to their knees rather than to the negotiating table. A strike by Western weapons on Russian territory – including territories occupied by Russia in violation of international law, such as Crimea – could be interpreted by Russia as aggression by the North Atlantic defense alliance NATO and respond accordingly.
Confident of victory: Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Ukrainian secret service, finds pithy words about the chances of the Russian invaders. (Archive photo) © Pavlo Bahmut / Imago Images
Ukraine wants to continue bombing in Russia: Putin's federation "no longer in the form" of before the invasion
In any case, US Lieutenant General Ben Hodges had clearly spoken out in favour of "strategic bombardment", as he put it: strategic bombing is aimed purely at infrastructure – ammunition factories, oil refineries, depots and the like. In addition to the material damage, the drone attacks are also intended to wear down the nerves of the opponents and thus increase the pressure on Russia's top warlord Vladimir Putin. Combined with acts of sabotage, strategic bombing is an essential part of offensives on the ground, according to Hodges.
The Ukrainian security chief is speculating precisely on this: that the Russian regime will begin to crumble and the military front will collapse from within – he ultimately attributes this to the Wagner uprising and the public criticism of Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin by its now deceased leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. Budanov: "The Russian Federation is no longer in the form it was before the invasion."