A coup to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin is underway and it is “impossible to stop it,” according to Ukrainian Major Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, the country’s military intelligence chief.
The defeat of Russia in Ukraine, Budanov explained to Sky News in an exclusive interview, will not only lead to Putin being removed, but also to disintegration.
“It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation,” Budanov said. “This process has already been launched, and they are moving into that way.”
And when the interviewer pressed if that means a coup of Putin is underway, Budanov replied: “Yes. They are moving in this way, and it is impossible to stop it.”
He also told the interviewer, Putin is in a “very bad psychological and physical condition, and he is very sick,” as he reportedly has cancer and other illnesses.
Budanov rejected suggestions he is spreading propaganda with such claims about Putin.
“It’s my job; it’s my work,” he told Sky News. “If not me, who will know this?”
Budanov’s comments echo reports from several angles about Putin’s heath, including from an oligarch’s recorded comments this week that Putin is “very ill with blood cancer.” The oligarch’s claims were not independently vetted.
The Russian leader’s actions at Monday’s Victory Day celebration also raised questions about his health. He was draped with a heavy blanket on one leg, even though older military veterans were not covered.
His appearance was also unusual, according to an observer on Twitter: ”Speech is unusually short, his condition appears further [deteriorated]. Face/neck seem swollen by steroids, he is apparently pain-ridden and has problems with concentration.”
The intelligence chief further commented, the war with Russia will proceed to a turning point by the middle of August and will wrap up by the end of the year, with Ukraine regaining power in all of its territories, including Donbas and Crimea.
The general had already predicted when the Russian invasion would take place, at a time when others in the Ukraine government remained skeptical, and said he was “optimistic” about predicting the war’s end.
“Most of the active combat actions will have finished by the end of this year,” he said. “As a result, we will renew Ukrainian power in all our territories that we have lost, including Donbas and the Crimea.”
Budanov would not comment on Ukraine’s casualties but said Russia is experiencing large losses.
“I can confirm that they suffered heavy losses in manpower and armor; and I can say that when the artillery strikes happened, many of the crews abandoned their equipment,” he said, adding he is not surprised by Russia’s losses.
“We know everything about our enemy. We know about their plans almost as they’re being made,” Budanov said. “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. It is not as powerful as this. It is a horde of people with weapons.”
In recent attacks, the Ukrainian forces have pushed Russia almost back to the border near Kharkiv, and caused heavy damage to forces trying to cross the Siversky Donets, he said.