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Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence, has said that the Russian invaders had no plan for capturing Kyiv other than "successfully" landing in Hostomel.
Source: Kyrylo Budanov, Head of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, in an interview with Dmitry Komarov in "A year behind the scenes: the intelligence officer"
Quote: "The Russians’ entire plan was to land swiftly [at the Hostomel airfield - ed.] and go from there. It was actually their only plan...
Firstly, they did not believe there would be any resistance at all, and secondly, they believed that they would land quickly and plane after plane would unload units that would immediately enter Kyiv."
Details: Budanov added that on 24 February 2022, the Russians kept trying to land troops there the whole day and they firmly believed that they would succeed.
According to Budanov, information distributed by Ukrainian intelligence played a significant role in this.
Quote: "The information they wanted to believe in won out. [That is] why people said the Russians were stupid, they didn’t believe there would be a war: they didn’t take fuel tankers with them, their tanks stopped, there were no supplies or food, this is all true.
But the truth is nevertheless different: they had to create a picture of a massive offensive and no alternative but to surrender. And to create a picture of these columns entering. That was it. No one expected fighting like there was in Mariupol. That wasn’t an option. They believed that no one would be able to create serious resistance to them and they would go into the government quarter and change the leadership, since, the way they saw it, the leadership of the state would then have to flee, and if it didn’t, they would destroy it."
Budanov added that Russia kept changing the date of the invasion over a two-week period. Ukraine received final information about the attack at 04:00 on 24 February at about 15:00 on 23 February.