Wife Of Ukrainian Spy Chief Hospitalized After Being Poisoned

The wife of Ukraine’s top spy chief has been hospitalized after being poisoned with heavy metals, according to a spokesperson for the country’s military intelligence agency on Tuesday.

“Yes, I can confirm the information. Unfortunately, it is true,” spokesperson Andriy Yusov said.

Marianna Budanova, the wife of Kyrylo Budanov, is undergoing treatment after a “prolonged period” of not feeling well.

According to the local newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, several GUR personnel were also diagnosed with the same poisoning.

“Budanov’s wife is quite petite and lightweight, and so she developed symptoms quickly,” the outlet said. “Several other employees were also poisoned. They have bigger builds and didn’t notice any signs. They are now receiving treatment.”

The GUR leader has been the target of several assassination attempts, including a botched car bombing.

Yuso reported that Chief Budanov has survived ten assassination attempts carried out by the Russian State Security Service, or FSB.

Yusov previously confirmed that Budanov and his wife lived in his office and were together 24/7 as a safety precaution, which could suggest that the poisoning could have been another attempt on his life.

Assassination attempts are not uncommon in Europe.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that he’s survived “no fewer” than five or six assassination attempts since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.

“The first one is very interesting when it is the first time, and after that, it is just like Covid,” Zelenskyy reported. “First of all, people don’t know what to do with it, and it’s looking very scary. And then after that, it is just intelligence sharing with you detail that one more group came to Ukraine to [attempt] this.”

The exact heavy metals found in the 30-year-old’s system have not been released yet to the public. GUR representatives have reported that those metals are not found in everyday life and are assumed to have been in food or drink.

If the poisoning is proven to be intentional, it would not be the first time Russia is accused of poisoning its enemies. Russia was accused of poisoning opposition leader Alexei Navalny in August 2020, which resulted in the U.S. sanctioning four Russian operatives.