Putin Gets Warning About Crimea From Ukraine's Spy Chief

Putin Gets Warning About Crimea From Ukraine’s Spy Chief

Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, told a French newspaper in a story published on Thursday that his country’s attacks on Crimea last year were “just the beginning.”

The chief of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine (GUR) made the comments to Le Monde during a discussion about the war launched on Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin in February 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly stated that one of his desired goals for the war is to see his country reclaim control of Crimea, which was invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014. In recent months, Kyiv has conducted multiple high-profile attacks on Russian positions in Crimea. One of those saw a successful Ukrainian strike last month against the Russian Black Sea Fleet at the Crimean port of Feodosia that resulted in the destruction of the Ropucha-class Novocherkassk large landing ship.

According to Budanov, Putin can expect to see even more strikes on Crimea this year.

“In 2023, the first Ukrainian incursions took place in temporarily-occupied Crimea,” Budanov said to Le Monde. “And this is just the beginning.”

Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov, left, is pictured on September 5, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine, while Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, is shown on October 13, 2023, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. During a recent interview, Budanov said Russia can expect more attacks on Crimea this year.
Photos by Viktor Kovalchuk/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images
The Ukrainian spy chief also referenced how Moscow is setting up a naval base on the Black Sea coast of Abkhazia, Georgia, following Kyiv’s assaults on the Russian fleet’s current base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol.

“The Russians have had to move everything in a hurry to the southeast,” Budanov said.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense via email on Friday night for comment.

In the buildup to the war, Budanov was one of the most prominent Ukrainian officials who correctly predicted Putin was going to attack months before the war began. He then soon emerged as one of Kyiv’s most visible military officials and frequently provides updates about the conflict to members of the media.

Budanov recalled to Le Monde how he was watching his clock in the hours before the invasion began, anxiously waiting to see if his prediction would come true.

“I didn’t want this war, but I am responsible for this kind of information. Such a mistake would not have been acceptable,” he said.

The lieutenant general also described the current state of the war, noting “very intensive use of attack drones has made both Russian and Ukrainian offensives impossible.”

He added that the “density of minefields” placed throughout his country is “unprecedented since World War II.”

Budanov also touched upon another much-discussed topic in the media: Western fatigue for supporting Kyiv.

“Those abroad who think they are ‘tired’ of Ukraine will have to take care of Muscovites when they come to occupy their own territories,” he said.

Uncommon KnowledgeNewsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.  » …
Read More

0 I like it
0 I don't like it