Ukraine’s Intelligence Chief’s Spouse Poisoned with Heavy Metals

Ukrainian General Marianna Budanova has fallen ill, as reported by various Ukrainian media outlets, with no additional details provided regarding potential treatment for others. Ukraine’s military intelligence has not issued a public statement on the matter, and there is no indication of Russia’s involvement in the alleged attack. Ukrainska Pravda disclosed that several intelligence officials, including Budanova, were poisoned, but there is no suggestion that General Budanov, who heads the Main Directorate of Intelligence (DIU) in Ukraine’s defense ministry, was also targeted.

General Budanov has played a crucial role in planning and executing major military operations against Russian forces since the full-scale invasion in February 2022. Babel, the first to report the alleged poisoning, stated that Marianna Budanova was hospitalized after a prolonged period of feeling unwell and is currently undergoing treatment, monitored by doctors.

The specific heavy metal involved in the poisoning has not been disclosed, but sources affirm that these substances are not used in daily life or military operations. Gen Budanov had earlier revealed that he and Marianna had been living in his office for safety reasons since February 2022.

Ukrainska Pravda later confirmed the poisoning through tests, suggesting that Marianna was likely exposed to poisoned food but is now in improved condition after completing an initial course of treatment. The Unian news agency reported that she is being treated in a Ukrainian hospital rather than abroad.

Marianna Budanova, born in 1993 in Kyiv, holds a master’s degree in psychology and previously worked as an adviser to the mayor of Kyiv. In 2015-17, she volunteered at Kyiv’s military hospital. Lt Gen Budanov has faced over 10 assassination attempts, as revealed by Senior Intelligence Directorate official Andriy Yusov.


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