- Russia will be defeated by the end of the year, Ukraine's military intelligence chief told Sky News.
- Mid-August will be a major turning point in the war, Major General Kyrylo Budanov said.
- Budanov is "optimistic" that Ukraine will recapture lost territories in the Donbas and Crimea.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Russia will be defeated by the end of the year, with mid-August being the major turning point in the war, Ukraine's military intelligence chief has predicted.
Speaking to Sky News, Major General Kyrylo Budanov said he is "optimistic" about Ukraine's prospects in the bloody war.
"The breaking point will be in the second part of August," Budanov told Sky News.
"Most of the active combat actions will have finished by the end of this year," he continued. "As a result, we will renew Ukrainian power in all our territories that we have lost, including Donbas and the Crimea."
Russia's military tactics have not changed substantially despite refocusing the army's efforts to the east of the country, Budanov added, per Sky News.
A significant setback occurred this week when Ukraine stopped Russia from crossing a key bridge in the country's east after a three-day battle with Russia suffering heavy equipment losses in a "highly risky" operation, UK intelligence said on Friday.
"I can confirm that they suffered heavy losses in manpower and armor, and I can say that when the artillery strikes happened, many of the crews abandoned their equipment," Budanov told Sky News.
Budanov described the "myth" of Russia's supposed military might, which, he added, Europe sees as a powerful threat.
"It is not as powerful as this," he said. "It is a horde of people with weapons."
Sky News noted that Budanov's predictions have previously been correct. He accurately forecasted when the Russian invasion would happen when others in his government were publicly skeptical of these claims, the media outlet reported.
Budanov's optimism follows a comment made by Russian President Vladimir Putin's former prime minister on Friday.
Speaking to DW, Mikhail Kasyanov, Putin's prime minister between 2000 and 2004, said Putin seems a "little bit nervous."
Putin has "already started to realise that he's losing this war," Kasyanov said, per DW.