Kyiv: The war against Russia will reach a turning point by mid-August and be over by the end of the year, Ukraine’s head of military intelligence has told Sky News.
Major General Kyrylo Budanov also claimed that a coup to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin is already under way and that the Russian leader was seriously ill with cancer.
Gen Budanov predicted: “The breaking point will be in the second part of August. Most of the active combat actions will have finished by the end of this year.
“As a result, we will renew Ukrainian power in all our territories that we have lost including Donbas and the Crimea,” he added.
He said Russia was suffering huge losses – although he would not be drawn on Ukrainian casualties – and said he was not surprised by their scale, given Russian power was a “myth”.
“We know everything about our enemy. We know about their plans almost as they’re being made. “Europe sees Russia as a big threat. They are afraid of its aggression.
“We have been fighting Russia for eight years and we can say that this highly publicised Russian power is a myth.
“It is not as powerful as this. It is a horde of people with weapons.”
Gen Budanov said Russian forces attacking the north-eastern city of Kharkiv had been pushed back almost to the Russian border and that their much-reported failure to cross the Siverskyi Donets river several days ago had resulted in “heavy losses”.
“I can confirm that they suffered heavy losses in manpower and armour and I can say that when the artillery strikes happened many of the crews abandoned their equipment,” he said.
He claimed that Russian defeat in Ukraine would lead to the removal of Putin. “It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation. This process has already been launched.”