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"Ukraine will have its first victories in August": intel chief Budanov on situation at front, Belarus threat, end of war
4 July, 2022

In an interview with RBC-Ukraine, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate under the Ministry of Defense, Kyrylo Budanov, explained the reasons for the increase in missile fire from Russia, the decrease in the pace of the occupiers' offensive, and the absence of a threat of attack from Belarus.

On increasing shelling

According to Budanov, the increase in missile attacks on Ukrainian territory by the Russian occupying forces may be related to the change in the commander of the Russian forces in Ukraine.

"There is no conspiracy theory or any visionary plans here. The head of, as they say, the 'special military operation' in Ukraine has changed — the commander of the Air Force took up this role. He knows how to fight with bombers and missiles, that's what he does," he said.

According to him, after the change of the leader, Russia intensified the massive use of long-range bomber aircraft, in particular, Tu-22M3 aircraft, which mostly use old Soviet Kh-22 missiles.

"This is a missile that was designed for nuclear strikes. Therefore, it has an accuracy rate of more or less a kilometer — it was generally normal. It is intended for nuclear strikes, and they fire a conventional warhead... They basically do not have the accuracy they would like to have," he said.

On the pace of the Russian offensive

According to Budanov, the Russian offensive has slowed down. They attack only on two areas of the terrain. Allegedly, the Russians do not have the strength and means for a large-scale offensive. On the other hand, the success of Ukrainian troops currently depends on the quantity and quality of weapons available in the Armed Forces.

On the threat of an attack from Belarus

Budanov believes that at this stage there is no threat from Belarus to Ukraine. According to him, a small number of Belarusian and Russian troops are stationed near the border between Belarus and Ukraine.

"These are absolutely planned measures of the Belarusian army that they are conducting. We knew about them two and a half months before the first moves began. At this stage, there is no threat from the Belarusian army to Ukraine," he claims.

On the occupied territories

According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia is developing several scenarios for the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine: from annexation to the creation of quasi-republics.

Budanov says that the occupiers are preparing pseudo-referendums for September 11 in the captured territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhya oblasts. However, allegedly, the single scenario of the development of events has not yet been determined.

"They are preparing. You must understand that between preparation and the fact is, as they say, a long way. And whether it will lead to exactly the objective for which they are preparing, only time and all our work will tell," he stressed.

Among the options considered in Russia are the creation of new "people's republics", the creation of one large "people's republic", the annexation of a large territory to the Russian Federation, the annexation of a separate territory to the Russian Federation.

On the end of the war

The head of Ukrainian intelligence predicts that the war with Russia will end with Ukraine returning to 1991 borders. The first visible results of the breakthrough are promised already in August, and by the end of the year the intensity of hostilities will decrease.