Intelligence chief: Russian commanders are ‘incompetent’

The head of the Ukrainian secret service sees major weaknesses in the command of the Russian army. He holds the generals mainly responsible for the failure of kyiv.

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According to the Ukrainian military intelligence service, almost two months after the start of the war in Ukraine, nothing has changed in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans. “The purpose of the military aggression remained the same: it is an operation aimed at destroying the Ukrainian state,” intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told Der Spiegel. According to Russia, Ukraine should “cease to exist as a state”.

When asked why Russia decided to withdraw its troops from the region around the capital Kyiv, Budanov said: “They didn’t just pull out like that – we drove them out of the Kyiv region. That began when we took the city of Irpin. It threatened to cut their forces in half in the Kyiv region.”

Budanov said he was not surprised that the Russian plan to conquer kyiv had failed. But he is surprised by something else: “How incompetently and negligently did the Russian commanders approach the implementation of such a large-scale operation. If they really believed that they would be able to finish in three days – and according to our findings, they were absolutely convinced of this one – so Russian leaders must be asking themselves how competent their generals are.”

“Need artillery systems”

Budanov also repeated the Ukrainian government’s demand for weapons from Germany: “We need artillery systems – the German army is especially strong in this area,” the major general said. “And unfortunately, we need tanks, because we had very high losses of armored vehicles.”

The Ukrainian army wants to use arms to liberate occupied territories, Budanov said. This includes the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014. Budanov sees no problem in training Ukrainian soldiers on the Leopard battle tank, for example: “We will learn this quickly. With all due respect, this is not advanced math.

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