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Budanov: Russia prepares for defense in Kherson – not retreat

by The Kyiv Independent news desk October 24, 2022 2:25 PM 1 min read
Defense Ministry's Intelligence Directorate Head Kyrylo Budanov (C) attends a press briefing on the release of Ukrainian POWs from Russian captivity in Kyiv on Sept. 22, 2022.
This audio is created with AI assistance

Russian troops are creating the illusion that they are leaving Kherson; instead, they are bringing new military units there to prepare for defense, Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's intelligence chief, told Ukrainska Pravda.

Budanov called the evacuation of top Moscow-installed proxies and displacement of civilians, announced on Oct. 18, "an information operation and manipulation in many aspects," adding that it can't be said for sure that "they are fleeing from Kherson right now."

On Oct. 23, the National Resistance Center reported that Russian forces plan to leave Kherson without mobile connection, television and radio broadcasting to create an information blockade in the city during Ukraine's counter-offensive.

Regarding the military threat from Belarus, Budanov said there is currently no indication of any strike force formation as Russia transferred only about 3,200 of its troops to Belarus.

Russian troops may be using Iranian-made drones to terrorize Ukrainians "for a long time," according to Budanov; however, their missile reserves "are almost exhausted." Budanov added that Russia orders kamikaze drones "all the time" with a one-time batch delivery of about 300 units.

Russian troops have used about 330 Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, of which 222 were shot down, according to Budanov. He said 30% of the launched drones hit their targets or explode somewhere close to them.

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