The war has reached a stalemate, with neither Ukraine nor Russia able to make any substantial gains, Ukrainian intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov has said, as Kyiv awaits more weapons from the United States and other Western allies.
“The situation is just stuck,” Kyrylo Budanov told the BBC in an interview. “It doesn’t move.”
Since Ukrainian forces reclaimed the southern city of Kherson in November, much of the fiercest fighting has raged around Bakhmut, in the eastern Donetsk region, where Budanov visited frontline positions earlier in the week. Both sides have been locked in brutal battle there since Russian forces launched their siege on the city in earnest in May.
The freezing winter conditions have slowed advances and Russian forces are “now completely at a dead end” after heavy losses, Budanov said. But he added that Ukrainian troops were unable to progress either without more resources, particularly weapons supplies.
“We can’t defeat them in all directions comprehensively. Neither can they,” Budanov said. “We’re very much looking forward to new weapons supplies, and to the arrival of more advanced weapons.”
Budanov also poured cold water on the idea that Russian forces might launch another attack from Belarus, where Moscow has been holding joint military exercises with Minsk. “As of now, I don’t see any signs of preparations for an invasion of Kyiv or northern areas from Belarus,” he said.