Kirill Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, believes that Russia will not use nuclear weapons even if Ukrainian troops continue their offensive and enter the annexed Crimea.
Budanov said this in an interview with The Washington Post. According to him, Ukraine will do everything to restore control over Crimea by the summer of this year.
Overt and covert allusions by Russian high-ranking figures to the possibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Ukraine, Budanov called “intimidation tactics.” “Russia is a country from which you can expect a lot, but not outright idiocy. Sorry, but this will not happen. A nuclear strike will lead not only to the military defeat of Russia, but to its disintegration. And they know this very well,” the head said. GUR. He did not give details about how Ukraine, in his opinion, could knock out the Russian military from Crimea, but expressed his conviction that “Crimea will be returned to us.”
Speaking about the development of events at the front in the near future, Budanov noted that he considers the offensive of Russian troops from the territory of Belarus unlikely. In his opinion, the Russian military will focus their efforts on the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. It is there that the main battles are now taking place, and Ukrainian troops, as a rule, are on the defensive.
According to Budanov, there are now more than 320,000 Russian soldiers at the front. Approximately the same figure was called by the Russian Ministry of Defense, reporting on the results of the so-called partial mobilization carried out in the fall. The group that launched the invasion of Ukraine in February last year, according to estimates, had about 2 times fewer military personnel.
The head of the GUR also said that the intelligence service has its own agents in Russia. These are, in his words, “people with whom it is easy to work and who understand that the country should be different.” Such people, according to Budanov, are in the Russian authorities.
- State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin recently threatened Western countries with a “global catastrophe” and “destruction” as a result of Russia’s possible use, as follows from the context of his telegram entry, of weapons of mass destruction. The Deputy Head of the Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, also wrote earlier that a possible offensive by the Ukrainian army would allegedly jeopardize the territorial integrity and very existence of Russia. Such a threat, in turn, in the Russian nuclear doctrine is one of the reasons for the use of nuclear weapons. The United States and its allies, in turn, warned Russia, both publicly and unofficially, about the inadmissibility of using nuclear weapons against Ukraine.
- Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014. Ukraine did not recognize the annexation and, until February 24, 2022, declared that it would seek the liberation of the peninsula by peaceful means. After the start of a large-scale Russian invasion, the Ukrainian authorities no longer rule out that they will use military force to return Crimea under their control.
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