A view shows the hulks of blasted cars and a white van in which, according to Ukrainian military officers, last weekend a Russian army unit was speeding in retreat toward the eastern town of Lyman, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, outside the rece


  • Mikk Marran said the Ukrainian army's high motivation will help it win against the Russians
  • Marran warned against underestimating the Russian army's ability to prolong the fight
  • Ukraine has so far taken back 2,400 square kilometers of land from the Russian army

An Estonian spymaster has predicted that Ukraine will win the war against Russia as the latter's invasion falters amid Kyiv's fierce counteroffensive.

Speaking to Yahoo News' senior correspondent Michael Weiss, Estonian spymaster Mikk Marran cited the Ukrainian army's high motivation as the reason why he believes it would win against the Russian military. Marran, however, noted that he is not sure when Ukraine's victory will come.

"Ukraine is going to win," Marran told Yahoo News when asked how he thinks the war in Ukraine will end. "They have to win because for Ukraine, it's an independence war. It's not just a regional conflict, and that's why they are highly motivated."

Despite his prediction, Marran warned against underestimating the Russian army's ability to push forward and prolong the fight.

"We shouldn't underestimate their ability to press on when others would give up. The first conscripts who will arrive, or have already arrived, at the war zone are the easiest targets for Ukrainians, but it'll likely be a kind of Darwinist cycle of events. The ones that survive the first months will learn how to do the job and they'll become better soldiers," he added.

Marran, 44, is the director general of Välisluureamet, Estonia's foreign intelligence service. Prior to Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the agency assessed the threats and capabilities of a resurgent Russia. Marran is set to depart the foreign intelligence service and take over as the new head of the state forest commission on Nov. 1.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Russian forces have invaded and captured several regions in eastern and southern Ukraine, including Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Kharkiv, Donestk and Luhansk. However, the Ukrainian army's counteroffensive, which was launched in late August, has seen the country steadily recapturing and liberating territories from the Russian occupation.

As of Friday last week, the Ukrainian forces successfully retook 2,434 square kilometers of land and 96 settlements from the Russians, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky, who shared the achievement in his daily address shared on social media. Ukraine is now looking into extending its gains into the Luhansk region.

A multiple rocket launcher fires a rocket towards Russian positions in Ukraine's region of Kharkiv