Ukrainian Spy Chief’s Wife Allegedly Poisoned

Ukrainian Spy Chief's Wife Allegedly Poisoned

( – Kyrylo Budanov is one of the most important officials in Ukraine. He heads the country’s military spy agency, the Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR), and is regularly the target of assassination plots. It appears his wife was also recently a target.

On November 28, a spokesperson for the GUR revealed Marianna Budanova was undergoing treatment for heavy metal poisoning. She went to the hospital after feeling ill for an extended amount of time, where doctors ran tests on her and determined she was poisoned. An unnamed official told the BBC that the metals in her body weren’t “used in any way in everyday life or military operations.” She’s reportedly feeling better after undergoing a course of treatment.

The running theory is that Mrs. Budanova was given food contaminated with poison. It doesn’t appear that her husband was the target. Reports have indicated several other members of the GUR also felt mild symptoms of poisoning.

Lt. Gen. Budanov has survived at least 10 assassination attempts since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. He’s not the only official in danger. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently alleged he’s survived at least five attempts on his life.

During an interview with NBC News, Zelenskyy said the first attempt on his life was “very interesting,” but after that one, the others were less scary.

In Russia, many of the country’s top military officials have died in the war. Darya Dugina, the daughter of Aleksandr Dugin, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top allies, was killed by a car bomb months into the war. In May, Russia claimed it foiled a Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin.

The government accused Ukraine of trying to carry out an assassination attempt on Putin. Zelenskyy denied the claims, saying his country didn’t attack his Russian counterpart. Ukraine’s war casualties are estimated to be nearly 500,000, while Russia’s are approximately 300,000.

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