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Budanov's plan: Intelligence officers share details of preparations for Kharkiv defense

Budanov's plan: Intelligence officers share details of preparations for Kharkiv defense Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, (Photo: RBC-Ukraine, Vitalii Nosach)

Kharkiv was prepared for defense according to Budanov's plan at least two to three weeks before the Russian invasion in winter 2022. On February 23, the residents of Kharkiv were already issued their first weapons, according to the Brave Hearts project by the 1+1 channel.

According to the Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, in order to defend Kharkiv and the region from the Russians, it was decided to transport cargo with weapons to the city before the invasion.

"Our officers sent batches of small arms along with grenade launchers, explosives, and so on to Kharkiv two to three weeks before the start of hostilities for the creation of local defense forces. It helped," said Budanov.

A scout with the call sign Vito, is one of the officers who implemented the plan to prepare for the defense of Kharkiv and admits that everything was planned.

"My colleague, also a colonel, and I arrived in Kharkiv even before the full-scale invasion to prepare for the defense of the city and the region," he said.

According to Vito, the plan for preparing the defense of Kharkiv was named Budanov's Plan.

"The commander called me and my colleague. And Budanov spoke. We gathered - and to Kharkiv. We loaded two trucks with weapons and ammunition. We arrived in the city and made clandestine caches. On February 23, I issued the first weapons to the people," recalled the officer.

According to him, the number of volunteers who stood up to defend their city from Russian invaders exceeded all expectations - not enough weapons were brought in.

"We didn't have enough ammunition, grenades, RPGs. What we brought was intended for a certain number of volunteers who would take up arms. However, the residents of Kharkiv showed themselves completely differently. We had to arm them," added Vito.

Shelling of Kharkiv

Russian troops launched a massive attack on Ukraine on March 22. The occupiers used over 150 missiles and drones, delivering one of the most potent strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure. In particular, dozens of missiles were directed at Kharkiv, leaving the city without electricity. Commenting on the situation in Ukraine's energy system on March 23, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy acknowledged that the situation in Kharkiv remains the most difficult. The city currently faces power supply restrictions.

On March 23, there were reports of three explosions in Kharkiv. Emergency services workers came under renewed shelling in Kharkiv on March 23. Initially, it was reported that a police officer and a rescuer were injured. Later, it became known about an incident at one of the municipal institutions where a civilian man was injured. Later, the number of injured increased to four people, including two Emergency Services workers.