On November 21, Kyrylo Budanov, Chief of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, said in an interview with MilitaryTimes ( Russia preparing to attack Ukraine by late January: Ukraine defense intelligence agency chief) that Russia had concentrated more than 92,000 troops around our country's borders and was preparing for an attack at the end of January - early February 2022.
Such an attack could include air strikes, artillery and armored attacks, which will be followed by airborne attacks in the east, in Odessa and Mariupol, as well as invasions through neighboring Belarus.
Image of militarytimes.com
The general also said that the attack being prepared by Russia would be more destructive than the war that began in 2014.
The chief of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine also explained (NB!) that before full-fledged hostilities, Russia will do everything to demoralize the population: "They want to ignite riots through protests and rallies that show that people are against the government."
Can this information be trusted?
On November 1, the official website of the Ministry of Defense reported: “According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, as of November 1, 2021, no additional transfer of Russian units, weapons and military equipment to the state border with Ukraine has been recorded. It is most probable that the facts published in the media and on the Internet about the increase of groups of the Russian Armed Forces in the Ukrainian direction are an element of special informational and psychological actions, and are essentially planned measures within the movement of troops after training.
On November 12, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov told LIGA.net that there was no concentration of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border. And that "Russia's intentions to destabilize the situation" is not new to us. If the concentration is happening, then in other places. Danilov did not answer the question of what other places he is speaking, referring to being busy.
On November 19, during a visit to Washington, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov expressed his conviction in an interview with the Voice of America that there would be no major Russian offensive and seizure of new territories in Ukraine: "I do not believe this."
Generally speaking, the Minister of Defense should not be guided by the "believe it or not" criterion. But, in the end, “does it really make a difference?”. After all, both the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Danilov, and the President's Office have repeatedly stated that all US intelligence reports are deception and provocation.
The day of the appearance (November 21) of the interview with the head of the Main Direcorate of Intelligence is more than symptomatic. Indeed. On November 19, on Savik Shuster's Freedom of Speech TV program, Budanov's predecessor, Colonel-General Vasyl Burba, voiced details of an already well-known special operation that were not entirely pleasant for Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Andriy Yermak. Wagnergate TV and Bellingcat text, Dignity and Freedom Day, coincided in an amazing way.
The meaning of Kirill Budanov's unexpected revelations in this sentence: "They (Russians) want to stir up riots through protests and rallies that show that people are against the government."
Sic! On November 19, in Lviv, an article appeared on the zaxid.net website with a controversial, to put it mildly, headline: "In the service of the Wagnerians." The scenario of the operation was most likely written in Moscow. " A few eloquent quotes from this opus: “For more than a year now, Ukrainian society has been shaken by the story of the so-called Wagnerians. An uncertain story that came out of the depths of the secret services and was heard by almost all politically active Ukrainians. The story of the allegedly planned special operation to capture Russian mercenaries <…> Most likely, the script was written in Moscow, so the Russians did not have to "drain" anything. It was conceived not in the interests of Ukraine, but rather for its international isolation. This whole story would not be worth a damn if its promoters were not people who position themselves as the greatest patriots of Ukraine. "
Are we silent?
There is an interesting excerpt from an interview with the head of Main Direcorate of Intelligence of Ukraine to MilitaryTimes: "Budanov said Russia was trying to raise anti-government sentiment over the Wagnergate incident, a dispute involving about 30 members of a Russian private military group responsible for the attacks in Ukraine. Budanov said that members of Wagner's group who had arrived in Belarus were to be returned to Ukraine for detention, but were instead sent to Russia with the help of the Belarusian KGB.
Something similar has already sounded in a clearly commissioned interview with Kirill Budanov, which he gave to Alexei Arestovich on August 19 last year.
Here is just one of many surreal quotes: “I don't see any point in conducting such an operation in this way. However, I can clearly see who benefited from such an operation. And here there is only one country - Russia, First: to set a precedent. Second: to create diplomatic tensions in international relations, especially between Ukraine and Turkey. And the third: as always to show that Ukraine is planning and carrying out some very terrible semi-terrorist operations around the world. "
It was very unpleasant to watch this completely unconvincing hog-wash. Especially in the context of the testimony of Vasyl Burba and the results of the work of Bellingcat journalists, who convincingly confirmed that the operation to capture 33 Russian mercenaries was planned and conducted by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine together with the Security Service and, unfortunately, was curtailed (probably betrayed). Hryhoriy Omelchenko convincingly wrote about this in the Wagnergate article: "How the Ukrainian Government Discredits the Ukrainian State."