Mark Galeotti Mark Galeotti

Can Zelensky hold back his hawks?

Kyrylo Budanov attending a press conference in Kyiv, 22 September 2022 (Getty Images)

There is no doubt that the West supports Ukraine’s fight for its sovereignty and survival. There is equally no doubt that, for all the fulsome rhetoric, this support is both conditional and limited by a desire to prevent the war from escalating. This was amply demonstrated by recent revelations about Washington’s relationship with Kyrylo Budanov, head of HUR, Ukrainian military intelligence. 

Zelensky stepped in to block the operations, worried about the backlash not just from Moscow, but from other governments

The Washington Post reported this week that, as the one-year anniversary of the invasion approached, Budanov told his staff to prepare ‘mass strikes’ against targets inside...

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