In a startling revelation, Marianna Budanova, the spouse of Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, has been diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning. As Ukraine’s war with Russia continues, this incident adds to the series of attacks Ukrainian officials face.
Ukrainian officials announced that Budanova is receiving medical care. This incident has ignited concerns of deliberate foul play. Andrii Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s military intelligence, confirmed the poisoning to The Associated Press.
Budanov has long been a thorn in the side of the Russian aggressors. He leads the GUR, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, and is known for his staunch stance against Russia. Earlier, Budanov claimed he and his wife had been living in his office for security reasons, which now appears to be a well-justified precaution.
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The poisoning of Budanova raises questions about the intended target. Was it an attack aimed at Budanov himself, given his high-profile role and previous reports of numerous assassination attempts on his life by the Russian state security service, the FSB?
Russia has not commented on the accusation, but such silence does not clear the growing suspicion of its involvement. The Kremlin has a notorious history of using poison to silence its opponents, and this recent case only deepens such narratives.
This event comes on the heels of Russia’s announcement to pursue terrorism charges against Budanov and other Ukrainian military officials. The charges are related to drone strikes on Russian territory and regions held by Russian forces, as reported by Reuters.
The exact nature of the heavy metals has not been disclosed. Still, the GUR suggests the poisoning was intentional, possibly through food or drink. Ukrainska Pravda reported that other GUR personnel were also diagnosed with similar poisonings, hinting at a possible targeted attack on the agency.
As Ukraine defends its sovereignty, the personal risks its leaders and their families face are stark reminders of the unseen battles in this conflict. The poisoning of the military intelligence chief’s wife is not just an act of aggression against an individual but an affront to Ukraine’s fight for freedom and democracy.
GUR is expected to release an official statement with more details. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian authorities investigate this as an attempted murder.