Gen. Vadym Skibitskiy, head of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate, in an exclusive interview with Newsmax, said Monday that while there is no evidence Russia’s use of a nuclear device was imminent, the threat remains real.
Skibitskiy, in what is believed to be his first interview with a Western outlet, pointed out that before the war broke out between Russia and Ukraine, the Russian military had been seen conducting military exercises to practice the movement and delivery of nuclear warheads.
The general told Newsmax correspondent John Huddy that Ukraine had intelligence such practices took place in the Crimean Peninsula with Russian long-range bombers or ships like the Moskva, the Russian flagship that was sunk in the Black Sea.
“Let’s keep in mind that the Russian Navy has up to 10 different types of missile carriers in the Black Sea, capable of launching hypersonic and nuclear missiles and other forms of weaponry,” Skibitskiy told Huddy in the interview, conducted through a translator and in a secret location outside Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv.
“They are able to launch up to 40 missiles and have the use of all of the waters of the Black Sea to do so,” the general added. “For now, we do not see any such activity taking place at the moment to stage a nuclear attack.”
When asked on the record if Ukraine’s forces had sunk the Moskva, Skibitskiy responded: “Let me put it this way: At first, even the Pentagon didn’t believe and thought the Russian ship, the Moskva, could have been attacked by our own Ukrainian anti-ship missile systems.”
However, after the ship sunk, Russian Navy ships are being pulled away from the Ukrainian coast, and “they no longer feel so comfortable being at the close range,” the general said.
But this also means Ukraine’s navy will need more modern, longer-range systems and ammunition to keep up the fight against Russia, he added.
“In these 50 days, we’ve demonstrated how quickly we’re able to learn and use all of the modern weapons we’ve received, with the highest efficiency,” Skibitskiy told Huddy.
He also noted the war has entered a second major phase, resulting in Russia increasing its attacks on infrastructure like logistics centers, factories, and the facilities used to produce and repair military equipment.
There is also a war being fought against Russia’s disinformation campaign, Skibitskiy added.
“There’s this one important problem we all need to start fixing, to break the information blockade being made by the Russian government,” he said. “At my workplace, we monitor Russian TV and international media outlets. Picture completely different. Absolutely different worlds.”