Interview with Kyrylo Budanov

Nothing is beyond the reach of the Chief of Ukrainian Defense Intelligence and Special Operations Forces of Ukraine. Nothing. Nothing, and no-one. 

If you haven’t paid attention to Budanov lately, you might want to start. Gloves are, apparently, off. In his interview from Washington yesterday, he pretty much overtly took responsibility for destroying the Russian planes in Moscow.

Budanov’s comms are messaging Russia on multiple levels. As well as the obvious threat, openly taking responsibility is a severe insult to Russian intelligence. Shows zero fear of “reprisals”. Furthermore the detail is, deliberately, eye-witness detail “unconscious”.

Budanov is using very specific language. He says “HUMINT” = human intelligence. Translation: we have spies in your camp. “Severely wounded, unconscious” = eyewitness descriptions. Translation: and our spies watched it happen, and are still alive.

Budanov earlier extended these significant insults and concrete message of penetration when, in his interview with Howard Altman, he not only took responsibility for the Moscow airfield but described, in detail, FSB fighting over the reaction. This was not attributed to HUMINT and will have come from SIGINT (Signals Intelligence). He was, therefore, telling the Kremlin that they are hacked. Hacked in Moscow and deeply penetrated by Ukrainian double agents in occupied Crimea. 

The presence of Zelenskiy in Sudan further takes credit (as Budanov already did) for Ukrainian SOF strikes on Wagner in Africa. The immediate subtext to Moscow is that America has given implicit or explicit permission for non-defensive attacks by MOD Ukraine on MOD Russia with their arms pretty much anywhere in the world, except Russia itself. We can deduce that last fig leaf, again, from Budanov’s Washington interview, where, even as he took credit for the strike on Moscow, Kyrylo made sure to go into an ostensibly unnecessary plug for Ukranian-made attack drones, domestically manufactured drones, saying those were used in this attack; thereby reassuring the US and other NATO partners that their “no strikes inside Russia” rule was being respected. He’s such an operator, he does few things lightly. 

Comment: This is Louise Mensch fangirling over Budanov. Take it for what it’s worth, but if she’s going to fangirl over anybody Budanov is a worthy target of her admiration. He’s impressive and a good symbol of the impressive work of Ukraine’s special operations and intelligence forces. He started in the Ukrainian Army, soon moved into special operations and is now in intelligence so I can relate to him. The War Zone interview with him is definitely worth a read.

Ukraine’s special operations and intelligence aspects of this war have, in my opinion, been critical to Ukraine’s survival and success to date and will remain critical to her eventual victory. They are definitely enhancing the effectiveness of the resistance forces in Ukraine and in Russia. It’s a symbiotic relationship as it should be. An additional article from “Daily Kos” on the partisans and a YouTube interview with the exiled Mayor of Melitopol reinforces this view. Don’t forget to follow some of the links within the articles. They’re also informative.


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15 Responses to Interview with Kyrylo Budanov

  1. ked says:

    I assume the recent hit on the Black Sea Fleet command staff is another example of Ukraine’s intel craftwork. Combined Brains? humint + sigint. there seems to be progress on the combat arms fronts too. though never enough for those convinced of the on-paper quantitative superiority of Greater Russia… but still. Abrams on the ground. & some ATACMS. do those count?
    I wonder if Russia’s best hope at the moment is the replacement leadership cadre being more talented / less hidebound than those lost. but that’s a qualitative factor… so not much value.

  2. leith says:

    I thought that Zelenskyy met Sudan’s ruler, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, at an airport in Ireland? Is Mensch (nice name BTW) saying Zelenskyy visited Sudan, or is she wordsmithing saying the attack inferred his ‘presence’ there?

    Looks like Wagner is also getting some heavy pushback in Mali by the Tauregs. Is Budanov supporting them also?

    • TTG says:


      Yes, the meeting was in Ireland. She’s either wordsmithing or simply got it wrong.

      I read the Tuaregs have declared war on the current Bamako government and Wagner as soon as the UN force left the area. Took over two former UN bases defeating government troops trying to do the same. Also saw an Il-76 went down in the area loaded with Wagner troops. Probably the Tuaregs. I’d like to think Budanov had a hand in it, although the Tuaregs don’t need his help. I worked with the Tuaregs, but that was several Bamako governments ago.

  3. walrus says:

    It’s all fun until:

    (1) The special ops guys decide to take their fight to neutral countries and cause local property damage and casualties among non – involved parties.

    (2) They keep doing (1) long after the original conflict is settled.

    In Australia the Serbs and Croats kept at it for years after WWII as did the Armenians and Turks. There are suggestions that China “might” be playing such games here now with a view to intimidating the local Chinese community.

    All in all such behavours, while attractive to some, are a nuisance to local Police and Security services. Confine your fighting to home.

    • TTG says:


      Most of that “nuisance to local Police and Security service” behavior is due to the expatriate groups not special ops. Expatriate Lithuanians and Poles would engage in bar fights on a regular basis over the pre-WWII Polish invasion of Lithuania by Pilsudski into the 50s. Those fights were the product of too much booze and over dramaticized hatreds. Chinese Intelligence reaching out to expatriate Chinese communities is definitely a bigger concern as you said. The Kremlin also established a pattern of going after enemies abroad since Trotsky was pickaxed. We, in the US aren’t immune to such behavior. Remember the kidnapping in Italy by the CIA? Wrong guy, too.

      • walrus says:

        TTG, you misunderstand me. I am not talking about bar fights; I’m talking about murder. What happens when a Ukrainian is apprehended in America after killing a Russian/ American dual citizen for example in the USA and claiming in his defence that he is “at war?’.

        In Australia we had assassinations and murders among the Serbian and croatian communities – members of Ustasha, etc. in the 1950’s and 60’s. It also appears that the Chinese government may be sending “police” to Australia (and probably America) with a view to frightening Chinese expatriates into obedience.

        • TTG says:


          I’m not aware of any of those types of killings here. We’re more concerned about mass killings of blacks to start a race war or mass killings of Jews because they’re “responsible for everything.” Then we have the killing of Sikhs because they look like terrorists, Asians because they look Chinese and, of course, Hispanics because they’re trying to replace us. The news covers these, but their total is small in comparison to our everyday killings for crime or passion.

          Those Chinese police stations are real. They’re only now being addressed in Canada and the US. That is some bold, bold shit.

  4. babelthuap says:

    Is anybody in Ukraine’s leadership 45 or older? This guy looks like a chubby 2LT on probation for poor PT scores. Next US coup they should at least make it look somewhat believable. Add a few older folks in the mix.

    • TTG says:


      Budanov is 37 years old, a lieutenant general and has been in the Ukrainian Special Forces of the Main Intelligence Directorate since 2007. He was combat wounded several times in the 2014-2016 fighting. He took part in classified special operations in 2018 to 2020. Russians tried to assassinate him in 2019.

      • babelthuap says:


        I do not like to talk about myself but your point I have to. I was wounded in combat as well as a 2LT. You know what I got? Scoffed at for getting wounded. I barely made it to CPT with a Bronze Star. I was not going any further though. Once you get wounded in the US military your career is over.

        But back to my main point which is everyone in the Ukraine leadership is very young. Why is that? Where are the older leaders and statesmen? They should have this being an established country? No. Where are they?

        They do not have these people. They got couped by the US and all the old voices of reason got shoved out. That is what happened. Believe whatever you want though as Julius Caesar stated. I’m not trying to change your mind. Your mind is already cured in aqueduct mortar. I get it. Believe me I do but is the top US military man 37? No he is not. Why is that?

        • TTG says:


          I was severely injured in training as a 1LT. I call it my human flight experiment. Over four months of traction and body cast, I was soon ready for IOAC. Did those six months on cane. Had to get ready for the SF course after that. My first attempt at running was a pitiful hopping for only an eighth of a mile. In less than two months I was ready, just barely. Thank God they dropped the perverted crawl from the PT test. I couldn’t do that anymore. As it was, pushups were mostly one armed after that. Spent almost five years in SF including the 1983 Lebanese Civil War. I was lucky. No one ever scoffed at me for my lingering injuries.

          The Ukrainian leadership is mostly young. That’s a good thing. The old timers grew up in the Soviet ways and experienced the worst of the widespread corruption after independence. They’re more cautionary tales rather than ready leadership. The same goes for political leadership.

        • LeaNder says:

          Your mind is already cured in aqueduct mortar.

          Interesting coinage, babelthuap. If Budanov with a little help from US intelligence and SF manages to bring down the Kerch bridge, TTG will be dancing in joy …

          • TTG says:


            I have little doubt USI will assist in the eventual dropping of the Kerch bridge, but our SF will sit this one out. But I may very well do a little dancing when it happens, at least a little head dancing.

        • leith says:

          Jim Gavin was 82nd Airborne CG at 37 years old.

          In 1939 when General Marshall became Chief of Staff he started purging the ranks of many older officers. There was a lot of deadwood within the ranks, mediocre officers whose only claim to fame was seniority. Those who were as the saying goes ‘retired on active duty’, And others who could not adjust to modern warfare and weaponry. Marshall established his ‘plucking committee to weed them out, particularly those “in their sixties and near retirement who could not withstand the rigors of combat command“.

          Its a good thing IMHO. It is why I vehemently disagree with our policy of taking out top leaders in ISIS and al-Qaida. And with the Ukrainians trying to take out top RU generals. By doing that you are apt to get younger, smarter leadership. Let the enemies old fogey’s stay in charge.

        • leith says:

          @Babelthuap: “…is the top US military man 37?”

          No, neither is the top military man in Ukraine. General Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is 50. So is the Ukrainian Chief of the General Staff General Shaptala. Ukrainian Army and Air Force commanders are also in their 50s.

          PS – Regarding George Marshall’s ‘Plucking Committee’:

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