Ukraine intel chief: military could launch counteroffensives in 2025 if support continues
Kyrylo Budanov (Photo: Valentyna Polishchuk/

The Defense Forces will be able to go on a new offensive in 2025, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence Kyrylo Budanov said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Ukraine needs sufficient support from partners and successful defense in 2024, he stressed.

Under such conditions a new offensive operation next year would be possible, the spy chief argues.

Earlier, the spymaster said that in 2024, Russia will try to completely occupy Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. The aggressor does not have the strength for other tasks in his opinion.

Budanov also warned that Moscow wants to try to kill prominent Ukrainians, and the peak of this plan is expected in the spring of this year.

Budanov took part in hostilities even before taking office and before the start of the full-scale invasion. Brigadier General Dmytro Tymkov reported that in 2015, during a special operation behind enemy lines in Donbas, Budanov was seriously wounded: at first he asked his comrades to leave him, but together with the group he was able to get to a safe place. In 2016, a sabotage group under the command of Budanov destroyed the Vimpel FSB special forces unit in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

In October 2023, Budanov stated that he periodically takes direct part in hostilities, trying to encourage Ukrainian fighters. In particular, the head of the HUR reported that he was "at point zero" during the defense of Severodonetsk in 2022, where he came under fire.

The commander of the MANPADS group of the Artan special unit stated that Budanov forced 19 Russian soldiers to surrender during one of the operations in the negotiations over the radio.