Ukrainian spy chief's wife poisoned with heavy metals: Reports

Budanov is considered the mastermind behind Ukraine strike back at Russia

Ukraine Russia war Ukraine's Military Intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov and his wife Marianna attend a memorial ceremony for Ukrainian interior minister, his deputy and officials who died in helicopter crash near Ukrainian capital, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv | Reuters

The wife of Ukraine's military intelligence chief has been poisoned with heavy metals, reported several Ukrainian media on Tuesday. Marianna Budanova is the wife of Kyrylo Budanov, who heads Ukrainian military intelligence agency GUR. The agency has been prominently involved in clandestine operations against Russian forces since the war began.

Budanov has been portrayed as the mastermind of efforts to strike back at Russia. Reportedly, he was the man behind-the-scenes of the Ukraine strikes.

Since Moscow's invasion, this alleged poisoning of the intelligence chief's wife would be the most serious targeting of a high-profile Ukrainian leadership figure's family member.

One media outlet, Babel, cited an unnamed source who said Budanova had been in hospital, and was finishing a course of treatment for the effects of the poisoning.

Though the reports did not specify to who is behind the alleged poisoning, it did say that the poison had likely been administered in her food and that several other GUR staff members had also been poisoned.

Russian media has reported that a court in Moscow had arrested Budanov in absentia in April on terrorism charges.

Moscow has previously blamed Ukrainian secret services for the murders of a pro-war Russian blogger and a pro-war journalist on Russian soil. However, Kyiv denies involvement in those deaths.

Earlier, Budanov had said that he would "keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine".

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