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Budanov says he's not worried about potential Trump victory

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 1, 2024 8:52 AM 2 min read
Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov gives an interview in Kyiv on April 19, 2023. (Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The prospect of the possible reelection of former U.S. President Donald Trump does not worry Kyrylo Budanov, the chief of Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR), according to an interview Budanov gave to CNN published on Jan. 31.

Trump, who served as president between 2017 and 2021 and is currently running in the 2024 election, has previously implied he would cut support to Ukraine if elected and said his primary focus would be to secure an immediate ceasefire with Russia within 24 hours, without specifying what terms the proposed peace deal would be on.

Budanov said he "doesn't worry much" about the notion of an incoming Republican administration helmed by Trump.

Trump "is an experienced person. He has fallen many times and gotten back up again. And this is a very serious trait," Budanov said.

Some Democrats, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, have explicitly said that segments of the Republican party support Russian President Vladimir Putin, referring to the group as the "pro-Putin caucus."

Budanov dismissed that characterization.  

"To say that (Trump) and the Republican party are lovers of the Russian Federation is complete nonsense."

The controversial former U.S. President is currently ahead in early voting in the primary to become the Republican nominee. If nominated as the Republican nominee, Trump would once again face incumbent President Joe Biden in the November presidential election.

The ongoing impasse in Congress over aid to Ukraine is largely the result of indecision from Republican lawmakers, who have repeatedly blocked the passage of additional aid, mostly due to unrelated domestic political issues.

In the immediate aftermath of the full-scale invasion, U.S. aid for Ukraine enjoyed mostly unanimous support, but it has since become a more partisan issue.

The fight over future U.S. aid to Ukraine has not yet resulted in a definitive decision, even after months of debate in Congress.

Budanov remained optimistic about the eventual outcome, saying, "We are expecting a positive decision anyway.”

The comments came as the dropoff in U.S. aid has increasingly been felt on the battlefield in Ukraine.

Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder said on Jan. 23 that the lack of funding has prevented the U.S. from meeting Ukraine's most urgent battlefield needs.

Pavel: Europe, Ukraine need to prepare for a Trump presidency
Europe and Ukraine must consider the realistic possibility that Donald Trump will win the 2024 U.S. presidential election and very quickly conclude an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Czech President Petr Pavel said on Jan. 29, as reported by Polish media outlet TVN24.
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