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Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov with his wife Marianna


Viacheslav Ratynskyi / REUTERS

The wife of the head of the Ukrainian secret service, Kyrylo Budanov, was probably poisoned. The Main Directorate of Ukrainian Intelligence has officially confirmed the poisoning. Further information is to follow.

Earlier, Ukrainian media had already reported on the incident, citing circles of the country's military intelligence. According to the report, Marianna Budanova had been diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning. She survived the assassination attempt and is therefore not in mortal danger.

Budanova had reportedly complained of feeling unwell and was admitted to a hospital when her health deteriorated for several days. It was there that the poisoning was detected. The substances that could be detected in her body "would not be used in any way in daily life or in military affairs," the Ukrainian reporting said. According to the report, she may have been poisoned by food. Law enforcement agencies have reportedly already opened an investigation into Budanova's attempted murder. The reports, published with reference to intelligence circles, did not contain any references to the perpetrators of the possible assassination.

Kyrylo Budanov himself was not affected, but according to some media, poison was also found in the body of several other employees of military intelligence.

Budanova, a psychologist by training, has been working as an advisor to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko since 2021. According to Budanov, his wife has been living with him in his office around the clock since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression. However, she does not work for military intelligence.

Budanov's military intelligence is responsible for a number of successful acts of sabotage and assassination in the Russian-occupied territories and Russia. The intelligence chief claimed in the summer that he himself had already survived more than a dozen Russian attacks.