Two key Ukrainian figures, the head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak and the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, have simultaneously offered conflicting predictions about the war with Russia.

Andriy Yermak, the head of the President's Office, believes that the upcoming year will be "decisive" in the war.

"A turning point in the war is approaching. Next year will be decisive," Yermak stated late night Monday, Nov. 13, during a speech at Hudson Institute in Washington.

He urged the US and Europe to intensify sanctions and provide additional weapons, citing an imminent Russian threat to Ukraine's energy system.

Prior to that, in a meeting in Washington on the same day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised delegates from Kyiv, including Andriy Yermak, that the United States would continue funding Ukraine through what could be another difficult winter.


Meanwhile, Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR), offered a less optimistic view.

Speaking to NV on Tuesday, Nov. 13, he predicted the war might persist due to Russia's reluctance to negotiate, foreseeing a prolonged war with sporadic shelling from both sides.

"The Russians will not sign any agreements with Ukraine... this scenario is very likely here," Budanov remarked, drawing parallels with Japan and Russia's unresolved issues since 1945.

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"There are instances in history where longstanding wars between states have remained legally unresolved. A clear example is the situation between the Russian Federation and Japan," Budanov said.

"Since 1945, they have never signed a peace treaty concerning the northern islands (referred to by Russia as the Kuril Islands). This territorial issue has persisted for more than 70 years," he added.

Answering the question of how long Russia can keep up intense combat, the head of the HUR pointed out three key things: Changes in Russia's economy, getting military supplies from outside, and a psychological factor – war fatigue.


"For now, Russia's economy is still holding up, Budanov said. “Despite a big fuel crisis and a sudden jump in food prices (which have gone up by 15-20% in the last two months), plus other stuff getting more expensive, they're managing.

“But all these problems will start to seriously hurt their economy and daily life, and we expect real issues to show up around 2025.”

In contrast to interviews in the early months of the war, Budanov has more recently refrained from making positive and encouraging predictions about the war's end.

In his latest big interview with Ukrainska Pravda, he said that the counteroffensive was “out of schedule” and that "the world is approaching a global war."

“We've deviated from it [from the counter-offensive schedule]. We are not far behind, but we have lost our way. This is a completely different interpretation,” Budanov said.

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