The head of the GUR Kyrylo Budanov: there is no offensive potential in Russia, and there won't be any in the near future

Kyrylo Budanov, head of GUR

What are the leaked documents of the Pentagon, what is happening with the killers of Ukrainian prisoners of war and why the big offensive of the Russian Federation turned into a big "freak" - this is discussed in an interview with the publication NV Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the GUR, said.

The office of the head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyryll Budanov, looks more like a museum than the workplace of the country's chief military intelligence officer. Here there was a place for grenades on the table, and the map of the collapse of the Russian Federation, which is already known even to Russians, and numerous awards and diplomas, telephones, an aquarium, a miniature with the Snake Island, paintings and a photo portrait of the President of Ukraine. In the midst of all this, Kyrylo Budanov himself sat as usual on a black leather chair in front of a gray office table. The Russians consider him to be the organizer of the most daring actions of Ukrainians, from the blowing up of the Crimean bridge to the destruction of pro-Kremlin propagandists.

— Let's start with the leak of Pengaton's secret materials into the network. What happened, what was the purpose and how true is the published information?

— First of all, it should be said that all this is a standard special information operation. This is the biggest problem. In order to create and carry out a special information operation, you need both true facts and altered or invented ones. But they have to be combined, otherwise it just won't work. Therefore, the standard formula for such operations is: it is 70-80% of the general truth, and 20-30% are altered or artificially created facts. But they are the key ones. Of course, it will be very difficult to deal with this in a short period of time. A rather detailed analysis of everything there is required. We see certain differences there. We will understand later how much this will be as a percentage.

- What effect should this have?

— Mistrust, compromise of relations between Ukraine and, above all, the United States, as well as other countries. Everyone is together here.

— This leak did not come as a surprise to you?

Absolutely true. We have been living under constant information attacks and special information operations for a long period of time.

— But the leak is quite large. Is it different from other similar cases?

And what is different? Want to talk about it? Let's. How big is this downpour and how is it different from others?

— It is large in terms of the number of documents.

You are wrong. It is not big enough. Documents much larger in size and amount of material were leaked very often. And artificially changed, I repeat.

- What will happen next, what will be the effect?

— I can say what, in our opinion, the effect should have been. But, looking ahead, I will say that the effect has not been achieved.

- And what was he supposed to be?

— Distrust, which should activate certain declarative statements on the part of Ukraine and on the part of other countries, which in the end, combined with certain contradictions, would have a destructive effect. But that didn't happen either.

— Among these American documents were the head of the Russian Security Council, Mykola Patrushev, and the head of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, who allegedly wanted to slow down the war.

This is a lie, a pure lie. Gerasimov was, in principle, one of the few who advocated a military operation. Patrushev took a more neutral position. He never shouted: let's kill them, and never shouted: no, it is necessary. He does not want to be extreme, because he is not a fool, far from a fool.

— How significant is the conflict between the FSB and the Ministry of Defense in Russia?

— At this stage, it is insignificant. In principle, this cannot even be called such an open conflict.

— Are there any signs at all that dissatisfaction with Putin's actions in the Kremlin, among Russian elites, especially economic ones, is growing?

— The economic bloc is simply, to put it mildly, dissatisfied. That will be more correct.

— Is a rebellion against Putin possible?

- Rebellion in Russia? Look in history to see what events led to riots over the past 400 years. This is not exactly the situation.

- Last year you said that we would enter the Crimea in the spring.

- I still have time to spare.

"Did quite a lot of the things you said really come true?"

- Absolutely everything. Everything is going according to schedule.

— Many people talk about the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces: it will happen, it won't happen. There are already hopes and disappointments. When do you think it might happen?

— Unfortunately, I can't answer your question: not because I don't know, but because it would be wild if I did it now, revealing the plan to the Russians.

— I mean to describe the future offensive with an epithet.

It will be fast.

— There are many reports that our UAVs are almost reaching Moscow.

And why almost? They fly to Moscow and beyond.

— So we are already ready to destroy some objects in Moscow? How will this happen?

— Questions, again, in the same direction. What do you expect from me, just to reveal to you all, let's say, our plans and planned operations and activities? How do you imagine it?

- And without details.

Without details, let's say so. You understand that safety regulations are too often violated in the Russian Federation. This abnormally does not happen so easily.

— And what is happening in the Russian army? How can you describe her condition? Are there prospects for the recovery of major offensive operations on its part?

— On March 31, 2023, another attempt at a Russian offensive, the so-called winter-spring offensive, failed. They were supposed to cross the administrative border of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Again, this is not even the fifth failed attempt. Russia currently has no offensive potential for a strategic offensive operation. And it won't be in the near future.

This is the first thing to say. Russia has moved to a strategic defense operation. Their task is to hold the captured territories, disrupting our offensive operation to liberate them.

The exception is two districts. The first is an attempt to capture Bakhmut. It must also be frankly said that they have almost conquered Bakhmut, according to their own personal statements, since June 2022. Soon it will be a calendar year. The situation there is difficult, but still Bakhmut stood and still stands. The second is an attempt to half-cover Avdiivka from the northern side, the main Maryinka front is located nearby, in principle an attempt to take active action there. That's all. The rest of the line is on the defensive.

— Regarding the terrible case of the beheading of a Ukrainian prisoner of war by the Russians: do you have any information about the perpetrator?

Yes it is.

- And where is he?

- Let me tell you everything now, okay? This person will listen and continue to sit there. We know who he is.

- They say that there were many such crimes?

- Not so much. These are isolated cases. But back to the first part of your question: where is he and why am I telling you that I cannot answer you. There is a slightly different statistic that somehow it happened that almost all those who did similar things, where it was clearly known to us, they no longer exist. Therefore, I do not think that this person will be an exception.

- Did you "help"?

- It just happened that way.

— Then on the topic: something is constantly happening in the occupied territories, some "cotton"...

— I'm telling you: the violation of security measures in the Russian Federation has acquired some unreal volumes.

— What special services does the GUR focus on in its work? Perhaps the Israeli Mossad? Do you have a unique style?

- This is our unique uniqueness, - we can call it that. Formula of work, approach, methods. We will be examples for future generations, which is, in principle, a fact.

— What will happen this year and next?

- You want to go too far in this matter. What will happen is the end of the war. Ending the war by restoring our borders. What will happen next is no longer a question of war. This will be a question of the development of post-war Ukraine. This is a completely different topic of conversation.

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