Ukrainian Intelligence chief on Russian rebels’ involvement in war

April 1,2024 482
Ukrainian Intelligence chief on Russian rebels’ involvement in war

Kyrylo Budanov, Head of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence, recently stated on a 24/7 newscast that Russian rebels aligned with Ukraine will “play their role” in future developments within Russia. These rebels belong to groups such as the Freedom of Russia Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps, and the Sibir (Siberian) Battalion. These units, made up of Russian volunteers, have joined forces with Ukraine and are actively opposing Kremlin troops.

On two separate occasions since the onset of the comprehensive Russian invasion of Ukraine, these rebel forces have penetrated the Russian border to conduct operations on Russian soil. Their first incursion into Belgorod Oblast happened last year in May, with an agenda to disarm border regions of Russia and ultimately liberate the country from President Putin’s regime. A similar operation was launched this March, with the rebels pledging to prevent any illegitimate elections of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the border regions adjacent to Ukraine.

“They are fighting for their country. Some things work out for them, some don’t, but they don’t abandon their work. This is the second year in a row that the same thing is happening in the same place, indicating the systematic nature of their approach. When the situation changes more on the front, it will probably become easier for them to advance further and achieve their goal,” said the Head of Ukrainian intelligence.

Furthermore, the actions of Russian insurgents are currently effective in redirecting the forces of the occupiers to protect their own areas on the front. “At the moment, this is very advantageous for us, that they were able to stretch out the groups, divert forces on the front to defend their borderlines,” said Budanov.

More opportunities to liberate Russia will arise for formations when Ukraine gains the upper hand on the front. “At the time when tension is at its maximum on the front, the situation will ease for the activity of Russian volunteer formations in repelling their state. This is the first. And secondly, when radical changes begin and Russia is forced to retreat, they will also do their job,” said Budanov.

At present, volunteers will not be able to reach Moscow. “But over time, when the situation allows it, they will still play their role,” assures the Head of Ukrainian intelligence.

Cover: AFP

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