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We must exploit Putin's weakness and make it our additional weapon - Budanov

We must exploit Putin's weakness and make it our additional weapon - Budanov Kyrylo Budanov, Head of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine (photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is demonstrating his weakness to world leaders against the backdrop of the ongoing raid by volunteers in the border regions, incidents at polling stations during the pseudo-elections, and growing doubts about his legitimacy. Ukraine should use this in its fight against the aggressor, states Kyrylo Budanov, Head of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine.

The lieutenant general noted that the limited military operation of Russian armed groups opposed to Putin (RVC, Siberia battalion, Freedom of Russia legion and volunteers from Ichkeria) in Belgorod and Kursk regions is "only the beginning of the struggle for their homeland."

"Russian citizens decided to liberate their country from an old man and his henchmen who usurped power, illegally changed the Constitution and lives in an alternative reality with his minions," Budanov emphasized.

The Ukrainian military intelligence chief also emphasized that Putin's "elections" are illegitimate.

"Whatever result the Russian Central Election Commission writes is a fake, because the elections did not take place not only in the border regions. A large number of polling stations will not be able to count the ballots, because Russian activists, realizing the meanness of these "elections," spoil them," Budanov said.

The Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine added that a "ballot box revolt" has begun in Russia, as such a number of spoiled ballots and boxes "has never been seen anywhere in the world."

"Putin understands that in the eyes of world leaders, especially China, he is becoming an unstable ruler who is unable to ensure order in the elections in his country. He is showing himself to be a weakling in front of his people and the elites," the lieutenant general said.

Budanov added that Putin is most afraid of weakness, and what is happening in Russia today is weakening the regime as a whole and the dictator personally.

"We have to use this weakness and make it our additional weapon," emphasizes the Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine.

Elections in Russia

The "elections" in the Russian Federation take place over three days, from March 15 to 17, 2024. On December 8, 2023, Putin officially announced his intention to run for re-election.

As Reuters previously reported, thanks to the "elections," the dictator can remain in power until at least 2030. Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has already stated that Putin will be re-elected with 90% of the vote.

Meanwhile, the Security Service of Ukraine spoke about how pseudo-elections were held in the occupation. According to Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, the results of the "elections" are already known in advance in the Kremlin.

Today, March 17, in the Moldovan capital Chisinau, a 54-year-old man threw two Molotov cocktails at the Russian Embassy, where a polling station was opened for voting.

Read more about the pseudo-elections in the occupation in RBC-Ukraine's article Elections at gunpoint: How Russians force Ukrainians in occupied territories to vote for Putin.