According to the head of military intelligence in Ukraine, the war against Russia is progressing so well that it will turn a corner by mid-August and end by the year’s end.
This is the most accurate and optimistic prediction made by a senior Ukrainian official to date.
Sky News exclusive interview: Major General Kyrylobudanov said that a coup to expel Vladimir Putin was already underway in Russia, and that the Russian leader is gravely ill from cancer.
The general’s office is dark, filled with paraphernalia from war and espionage. There are sandbags on its windows and machine guns on the floor. A spare rifle magazine sits on his desk as a paperweight.
At just 36 years old, he is young enough to be the head of his country’s military intelligence service. He speaks with the dry precision and skill of his trade.
He was apathetic and did not show emotion.
General Budanov accurately predicted the Russian invasion’s timing, even though his government was skeptical. He now claims he is confident in his ability to predict its outcome.
“The second half of August will mark the breaking point.
“Most active combat actions will be completed by the end of the year.
“We will therefore regain Ukrainian power in all territories we have lost, including Donbass and the Crimea.
He says that Russia’s tactics are not changing despite its shift towards the east, and Russia is experiencing huge losses even though he wouldn’t be drawn on Ukrainian casualties.
Russia is just a horde’ of people with guns
He stated that he wasn’t surprised by Russia’s defeats in the war.
“We know everything about the enemy. We are aware of their plans as soon as they are being made.
“Europe regards Russia as a major threat. They fear its aggression.
“We’ve been fighting Russia for eight-years and can tell you that the highly publicized Russian power is a legend.”
It is not as powerful and as effective as the one above. It is a mass of people equipped with weapons.”
He claims that Russian forces were pushed back to the border of Kharkiv and that a recent attack by forces further south, trying to cross into the Siverskyy Donets, caused significant damage.
Its aftermath was captured in dramatic aerial photos.
General Budanov stated, “I can confirm that the men suffered severe losses in manpower as well as armour. I can also say that many of them abandoned their equipment when the artillery strike occurred.”
“It is impossible to stop the coup”
Sky News also heard General Budanov say that defeat in Ukraine would result in the removal of Russia’s leader and the country’s destabilization.
“It will eventually lead the Russian Federation to change its leadership. They are already moving in that direction.
Is that a sign of a coup?
He replied, “Yes.”
“They move in this direction and it is impossible for them to stop.”
He said that Mr Putin was in a “very poor psychological and physical condition” and is “very sick”.
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According to him, the Russian leader is suffering from cancer and other diseases.
He denied that he was spreading propaganda in the context of the information war, and was confident of his claims.
“It’s my job. It’s my work. If not me, who will?
Although Ukrainian officials have previously expressed doubts about Putin’s mental health and stated their certainty of winning, they have not been as specific or set out a timeline for victory. This is a sign that their confidence on the battlefield has increased.