The head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Service (GUR), Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov, commented on the Russian invasion at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) summit in Kiev.
According to Budanov, Russian troops could not continue their large-scale invasion for more than another year. This, as Newsweek reported, is because the Russian military action has exposed strategic weaknesses and has seriously weakened both Russia’s armed forces and economy.
Budanov predicts Ukraine’s victory at the end of 2024
Despite Russia’s impressive defenses in southern Ukraine and various tactical adjustments, Budanov believes that the conflict could end with a victory for Ukraine by the end of 2024. He emphasized the change in the state of the Russian Federation since 2022. According to him, both the Russian economy and its military power have been significantly weakened.
The intelligence chief also pointed out the current challenges of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. Although Kiev’s goal of complete territorial liberation was questioned due to the slow counteroffensive, Budanov reiterated that the offensive was still ongoing. However, this was slowed down by mined terrain, well-prepared defenses, extensive artillery and numerous drone attacks.
Russia in panic mode
Regarding the situation in Russia, Budanov reported a “panic mode” in Russian society triggered by drone attacks. This, Budanov told Newsweek, is reflected in disruptions to civil aviation and an increase in civil insurance claims due to recent UAV attacks.
Finally, Budanov emphasized that a withdrawal to internationally recognized borders was the only lasting solution to end the conflict. Any other course of action would only “freeze” the war.