This was stated by Ants Kiviselg, head of the Estonian Defense Forces Intelligence Center, Ukrinform reported citing ERaR.
According to Kiviselg, in 2023, the Russian defense budget increased to 100 billion euros, which is about a third of all government spending. In 2024, it will remain at about the same level, and in 2025-26, it will decrease slightly.
The head of the Estonian Defense Forces' intelligence center said that in the first half of the year, the Russian armed forces exceeded the amount envisaged in the defense budget by 10%, so an additional budget was adopted.
"All this allows Russia to continue the war (in Ukraine - ed.) with the current intensity. But this will come at the expense of a significant reduction in the services and well-being of Russian civil society," Kiviselg said.
The head of the intelligence center also assessed the situation at the front, which, according to him, has not changed significantly over the week. Kiviselg added that the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to resist Russian troops on the southern outskirts of Avdiivka and at the same time conduct counterattacks, keeping the area under their control. According to him, the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to retain the recaptured territories on the left bank of the Dnipro River, while Russia began additional mining of possible directions of the Ukrainian offensive.
"Apparently, Russia will not be able to make an operational breakthrough in Ukraine in the near future. However, in the coming weeks, Russia is likely to increase the intensity of its attacks on Ukraine's critical infrastructure - the energy system, transportation, factories, warehouses, and telecommunications centers," he said.
According to Kiviselg, the purpose of such attacks is to break the spirit of Ukrainians and provoke social discontent that could affect the political landscape of Ukraine or cause disputes in society, as well as to "divert attention from external threats to the internal situation, looking for possible inconsistencies and exacerbating them."
As reported, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that the war with Russia is at a new stage with the onset of winter, which could complicate the fighting.