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1 Sep, 2023 16:07

Conflict should be transferred to ‘Russian territory’ –  Ukrainian spy chief

Attacks on Russian soil are aimed at stretching Moscow’s forces thin, military intelligence head Kirill Budanov has said
Conflict should be transferred to ‘Russian territory’ –  Ukrainian spy chief

Kiev should bring the ongoing hostilities with Moscow deeper into Russian territory, the head of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) has proposed. His remarks starkly contradict comments by President Vladimir Zelensky last month, ruling out attacks on Russian territory, as they “would pose a great risk that we would be left alone.”

In an interview with Ukrainian TV anchor Natalya Moseichuk, Kirill Budanov touted a transfer of military action to Russian territory as an “excellent idea.” 

“The war must be extended to other territory – which for us is clearly Russia – and other areas where they have influence,” he said.

According to Budanov, such a tactic would help Ukraine stretch and paralyze Russian forces. “The wider the operations are, the better,” the intelligence official added.

Mikhail Podoliak, a top aide to the Ukrainian leader, also claimed that Kiev’s Western backers supported the destruction of “everything Russian” in the territories it deems “occupied,” including the Crimean Peninsula, a statement the Kremlin shrugged off as wishful thinking.

Territory deep inside Russia, including Moscow, has come under recurring drone raids targeting civilian facilities in recent months. Ukraine has stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attacks, with Podoliak blaming “unidentified” aircraft instead.

In addition to aerial attacks, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of attempting to stage incursions into border regions, resulting in intense skirmishes and civilian deaths. In May, for example, a Ukrainian saboteur group infiltrated the Belgorod region, killing one civilian and injuring several others. 

Kiev claimed this was an operation conducted by the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), comprised of neo-Nazi militants and another collaborationist group called the “Freedom of Russia Legion.”