The Russian military is regrouping in the east of Ukraine and plans to advance toward the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s Chief of Defense Intelligence told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Friday.
"They are regrouping towards the [Ukrainian] city called Izium via Belgorod. They are moving through Belgorod. They get additional troops in Belgorod in order to compensate their losses in Ukraine," Major-General Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's Chief of Defense Intelligence, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview in Kyiv.
"They plan to advance towards Kharkiv first of all. They will try to finish off the city of Mariupol and only after that, they might try to initiative advances towards Kyiv," he said.
Budanov called on Ukraine’s allies to provide “really serious” military support to help it counter the Russian offensive. He said heavy artillery, anti-aircraft missile systems and combat planes were needed to use “against [Russian] ground forces”.
“Ukraine needs really serious support in heavy armament, and we need it not tomorrow, we need it today,” he said.
Budanov said the weaknesses of the Russian military were on display in Ukraine. Russia’s troops were “defeated” in the Kyiv region and its military effort hampered by logistics, he said.