Chief of SBU intelligence service warns Putin to expect ‘surprises’ in 2024.
Kiev — The chief of Ukraine’s SBU security service told POLITICO that the country’s spies intend to step up their intelligence gathering and launch sabotage operations in deep Russian-controlled territory early next year in an effort to bring the conflict as close to the Kremlin as feasible.
“We are unable to reveal our plans. They ought to continue to surprise the opposition. In written answers to queries, Major General Vasyl Malyuk stated, “We prepare surprises.” The occupiers need to realize that they will be unable to hide. The enemy will be present everywhere.
Malyuk mentioned some indications but steered clear of details. It’s likely that military installations and logistical targets in occupied Ukrainian territory will remain of interest. Then there are strikes that cross the border and target the adversary.
“We’re constantly searching for fresh approaches. Thus, cotton will keep burning,” Malyuk said in jest.
The term “cotton” is used by Ukrainians to characterize explosions carried out by Ukrainian special services in Russia and the occupied territories of Ukraine. It originated from Russian officials and media who used the word “khlopok,” which is a combination of the words “blast” and “cotton,” to describe the increasing number of these incidents.
Since fighting has essentially stopped along hundreds of kilometers of front lines for the majority of this year, the SBU’s actions both strengthen Ukrainian morale and undermine Russia’s capacity to wage war.
Targeted point strikes are carried out by the SBU. We take a needle to the enemy’s heart and stab him. Every one of our special operations aims to achieve a particular outcome. All of this together makes it more difficult for the Russian Federation to wage war and moves us closer to victory, according to Malyuk.
Building on this year’s operations, one area of focus will be the Black Sea and Crimea.
Strategic Strikes: Ukraine Drones Target Russian Warships and Kerch Bridge
The drone Malyuk is passionate about is the Sea Baby, or malyuk in Ukrainian, which translates to “little guy.” The drone is hard to find because it can operate in stormy weather and has a payload capacity of about 850 kg of explosives.
Malyuk declared, “We are gradually forcing the Russian Federation’s Black Sea Fleet out of Crimea with the help of those little guys.”
In July, it was used to hammer Russian ships and attack the Kerch Bridge, which connects occupied Crimea to mainland Russia.
Four Russian warships were damaged in an attack on Sevastopol Bay by SBU marine drones in October 2022. This year, the drones damaged Russia’s newest hydrographic and reconnaissance ship as well as a large military tugboat. They also struck two missile carriers, a tanker, and an amphibious assault ship.
Due to this, Moscow was compelled to relocate a large portion of its fleet from its base in Crimean occupied Sevastopol, clearing the way for Ukraine to resumptively use its ports for maritime traffic in the west of the sea.
After this year’s attack and a truck bomb attack in 2022, the Kerch Bridge still stands, but it is only partially open, according to Malyuk.
“In accordance with international law and the rules of war, it is a legitimate target for us.” We are also permitted to attack this object by Ukrainian law. Additionally, we must destroy our enemy’s logistics,” Malyuk continued.
Malyuk stated that, in contrast to Russia, which has fired missiles, artillery, and drones at both military and civilian targets, Kyiv carefully considers its targets before striking in an effort to adhere to the rules of war.
The Special Branch Unit (SBU) carefully chooses its targets when organizing and preparing its special operations. We operate on military installations or those that the adversary utilizes to execute military operations. We adhere strictly to international legal norms,” declared Malyuk.
The majority of the SBU’s operations are carried out on Ukrainian soil, specifically in the Black Sea, Donbas, and Crimea.
Malyuk declared, “This is our land, and we will use every method at our disposal to free it from the occupiers.”
The SBU claims that when it comes to planning in Russia, it only looks at targets that are used for military purposes, such as military bases, warships, and logistical corridors for supplying weapons. Examples of such targets include the Siberian rail tunnel that was hit by two explosions, for which the SBU has not taken responsibility.
Malyuk declared, “Everything you hear about SBU operations is solely our work and our unique technical development.” “These operations, in particular, became possible because we develop and implement our technical solutions.”
Russia has to get ready for some blows.