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Ukraine spy chief: Russia aided Hamas attack with drone tactics, positioned spy satellite over Israel

Budanov has accused Russia of supporting Hamas militants and providing intelligence to Iran, further fueling tensions in the Middle East.
Ukraine spy chief: Russia aided HAMAS attack with drone tactics
Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian intelligence. Photo: Ukrainska pravda
Ukraine spy chief: Russia aided Hamas attack with drone tactics, positioned spy satellite over Israel

Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian intelligence, warned in an interview with Roman Kravets of Ukrainska Pravda that the world may be on the brink of a global war.

“Looking at the geography as a whole, we see several conflicts that may seem regional at first glance, apart from Ukraine. Yet they are all interconnected, with the same countries embroiled in these processes,” stated the general.

Iran and Russia’s involvement in the Israel-Gaza conflict mirrors their role in the Ukraine war. Budanov suggested that Moscow is connected to the attack on Israel by supplying Hamas militants with captured Ukrainian weapons, primarily infantry arms. Furthermore, in their assault on Israel, Palestinian militants employed tactics reminiscent of the Ukrainian war, utilizing FPV drones against armored vehicles.

“This know-how is borne of our war. No one else could do this except those who have experienced our battlefield. Since we were not there, it must have been the Russians,” concluded Budanov.

Furthermore, on 22-24 September 2023, a Russian military delegation visited Iran, where Tehran sought Moscow’s help for Middle East intelligence operations. Soon after, a Russian satellite capable of electronic surveillance and intercepting satellite signals was positioned in a geostationary orbit above Israel.

“It is now clear what kind of intelligence information the Russians began providing to all interested parties. I emphasize that it was not just Iran, but all interested parties that received this information,” the Ukrainian official stated.

Budanov: Russia aided HAMAS attack
The Minister of Defense of Russia, Sergey Shoigu, in Iran. Photo: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

About a week before the attack, the Russian state-owned news agency ‘Sputnik’ began broadcasting in Arabic from the territory of Lebanon.

“This broadcast is in an absolutely propagandistic style with clear Russian narratives,” Budanov said.

The situation in Israel is deemed dangerous by Budanov, given the presence of Hamas in the south and Hezbollah in the north. Iran has explicitly declared that if the Israeli military enters the Gaza Strip, they will commence their ground operations against Israel. This would entail actions from both Lebanese and Syrian territories.

“The situation is under control for now. What happens next remains to be seen,” Budanov said. 

Regarding Israel, Ukraine is currently focused on assisting its citizens residing there. Recently, a group of children was evacuated from Israel to Ukraine.

“A significant number of Ukrainians are in Israel, and the several hundred people in Gaza pose a major problem,” Budanov stated. 

Israel Gaza war
Israeli soldiers at local family’s home. Photo: Israel Defense Forces
on X/Twitter

Currently, the situation in Israel has no bearing on the supply of weapons to Ukraine. Any potential problems will only emerge if the conflict prolongs.

“By the middle of next year, we do not foresee major issues with military aid [to Ukraine]. Beyond that, everything will depend on us – how effectively we can communicate, demonstrate, and explain our needs, as well as boost domestic production,” the general believes.

Considering Russia’s economic resources, they can sustain the conflict in Ukraine until 2025. Military equipment capacity may extend until 2026, possibly a bit sooner, as their equipment recovery rate is not exceptionally high.

“Regardless of what anyone says, if we look at our total human resources, we have enough to last for a long time. Our country [Ukraine] is not that small. The real question is whether the Russian Federation is willing to go to the upper limit,”  the general remarked.

General Staff: Ukraine Forces push forward on two fronts, thwart Russian assaults elsewhere
Photo: Ukraine’s General Staff via Facebook.

According to Budanov, the total expenditure on weapons and ammunition during the war in Ukraine far exceeds the production capacity of all parties involved in the conflict.

“The world was not prepared for a war of this intensity. And this, by the way, is one of the conclusions that all countries will certainly draw after this. All will try to increase their arsenals,”  believes Budanov. 

The general predicts that Russia will once again attempt to destroy Ukraine’s energy infrastructure this year. They failed to achieve a complete blackout in Ukraine last year.

“They have substantial capabilities because they have been restraining their missile strikes lately. Anti-air defense is our biggest problem. Because everything they strike with, one way or another, flies. So we need far more anti-air defense systems than we currently have,”  Budanov said.

Budanov also addressed the Wagner group, which is currently not participating in the Ukrainian conflict. He acknowledged that this absence is advantageous because the Wagner group fighters possessed combat skills. However, he expressed uncertainty about the reported death of their leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

“All I can tell you is that we have no factual evidence confirming his death so far. I do not know whether he is dead,”  Budanov stated.

Prigozhin Rostov Wagner
Screenshot from a video claiming to show Yevgeny Prigozhin in Rostov.

General Sergei Surovikin, the former commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, had a very close relationship with Yevgeny Prigozhin. After Prigozhin’s failed coup attempt, Surovikin was detained. However, according to Budanov, Surovikin is now “living normally.”

“It’s clear he no longer wields the same influence as before, but again, for Ukraine, this is good. He was quite ruthless in his decision-making and unafraid to take on responsibility, which was an issue for us. Now he lives peacefully, engaging in analytical work,”  Budanov said.

Sergey Surovikin. Screenshot from video by RIA Novosti

One of the most dangerous Russian generals, according to Budanov, is Sergey Beseda, the head of the FSB 5th Service. He is involved in operations on Ukrainian territory.

“He is a very problematic person. He has done much harm to Ukraine. But no matter, time will put everything in its rightful place. For a while, he was suspended from his duties. But then everything was smoothed over. Now he is back at work, unfortunately not to Ukraine’s benefit,”  Budanov reported.

Sergey Beseda
Sergey Beseda. Photo: Russian media

The Ukrainian general believes that human intelligence within the Russian ranks is a complete failure, but their electronic and cyber intelligence capabilities are operating at an extremely high level.

“The only thing we can recognize is the operations of their special intelligence. Unfortunately, their sabotage groups work quite well in our border units in the country’s north. They enter through Russia – Bryansk, Kursk regions. There they infiltrate, often set up ambushes, sometimes even carry out raids and then withdraw,” Budanov confessed.

The general also shared Ukrainian intelligence data concerning the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, whom some media outlets have prematurely declared deceased.

“It’s true he has had some health issues. He has had kidney problems. His life was in danger at one point, but he has recovered,” Budanov explained.

Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Kadyrov, Photo: telegram @kadyrov_95

Negotiations with Russia can only start once all Ukrainian territories within the 1991 borders are de-occupied. Though the Russians are ready to initiate discussions now, Budanov is resolute that freezing the war is not an option.

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