Fred Pleitgen and Tim Lister in Kyiv, and Mick Krever in London
Ukraine’s top national security official, Oleksiy Danilov, also hinted at his country’s ability to strike Russia on its own territory, beyond occupied Ukraine, in his interview with CNN.
“Regarding Russian territory, nobody prohibits us to destroy targets with weapons produced in Ukraine. Do we have such weapons? Yes, we do,” Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said Monday.”
Western nations have restricted Ukraine from striking Russian territory with Western-donated weapons. Though there have consistently been unexplained explosions at strategic sites in Russia over the course of the war, Ukraine has never publicly admitted being responsible for the strikes.
Major General Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Agency, last month predicted attacks “deeper and deeper” inside Russia, away from the frontlines, without acknowledging any Ukrainian role.
Budanov told ABC News in January that he was “very glad to see” attacks inside Russia, but that he was unable to “give you [an] answer” until after the war about whether Ukraine has played a role in such strikes.
“Do you think there will be more?” the reporter asked Budanov. “I think so,” he replied.
“Inside Russia? Deep inside Russia?” the reporter asked. “Deeper and deeper,” he said.