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Coup to oust Putin is underway, Ukrainian general claims

Russia's President Vladimir Putin. (Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)
May 16, 2022

The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service said a coup to oust Russian President Vladimir Putin is already underway.

In an interview with Sky News which aired Saturday, Ukrainian Gen. Kyrylo Budanov touted the success of Ukrainian defenses against Russian invasion forces and predicted the war would reach a major turning point by August and be over by the end of the year. Budanov also said Putin is seriously ill with cancer and a coup to oust him from power is already moving forward.

During the interview, the 36-year-old Ukrainian military intelligence chief said Russian military setbacks in the war have undermined their credibility.

“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 publicized Russian power is a myth,” Budanov said. “It is not as powerful as this. It is a horde of people with weapons.”

Budanov said a Russian military defeat will lead to Putin’s removal from power.

“It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation. This process has already been launched and they are moving into that way.”

When asked if he was referring to a coup, Budanov said, “Yes. They are moving in this way and it is impossible to stop it.”

Budanov also said Putin is in both poor psychological and physical health.

Budanov denied that he was spreading propaganda claims. Sky News reported Budanov had correctly predicted when Russia would launch its invasion of Ukraine.

When asked about the direction the war is going, Budanov said, “The breaking point will be in the second part of August” and “Most of the active combat actions will have finished by the end of this year.”

Budanov said he’s optimistic about his predictions for the war.

Budanov said Ukrainian forces fighting in the eastern border region of Kharkiv had pushed Russian forces back almost to the Russian border.

Budanov said he expects that by the end of the war, Ukraine will regain control of territories it had lost, including parts of the eastern Donbas region and the Crimean peninsula.

As of Monday, the Ukrainian side has claimed Russia has lost more than 27,000 troops in about two and a half months of fighting. The Ukrainian military has said Russia has lost another 200 planes, 165 helicopters, 1,228 tanks, 427 tactical level drones, 13 warships and about 5,000 other vehicles and pieces of military equipment.