Ukraine: Wife of military intelligence chief victim of poisoning attempt

It might sound like something out of a James Bond script, but it's a different side of the Russia-Ukraine war. On Tuesday, several Ukrainian media outlets reported that the wife of Kyrylo Budanov, the powerful head of Kyiv's military intelligence, had been hospitalized in serious condition following an attempted poisoning. His life is not in danger, but an investigation for attempted murder has been opened.

Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov and his wife Marianna Budanova in Kyiv on January 21, 2023. REUTERS - VIACHESLAV RATYNSKYI

By: RFI Follow


Read More

With our correspondent in Kiev, Stéphane Siohan

Kyrylo Budanov, the young head of Ukrainian military intelligence, has become a familiar face to his fellow citizens, as has his wife, Marianna, who has notoriously lived in her husband's over-protected office since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian website Babel revealed that the young woman had been rushed to hospital a few days ago following an attempted poisoning. Doctors reportedly found traces of heavy metals, including arsenic and mercury, in his body, according to statements by Valeriy Kondratyuk, the former head of the department headed by Kyrylo Budanov.

According to Kondratyuk's revelations, the poisoning was administered through food, and it also affected Marianna Budanova's bodyguards, as well as several high-ranking officers, including heads of the various sectors responsible for operations against Russia within the Main Intelligence Directorate.

On Tuesday, the spokesman for the HUR, the military intelligence, confirmed the reports, in a context where Kyrylo Budanov, the conductor of Ukrainian special operations, has become a priority target for the Russians.

Wounded before the war in a car bomb attack, Kyrylo Budanov saw several Russian missiles aimed at his administration. He has reportedly already escaped at least ten attempts to eliminate him.

Read alsoHow Ukraine is trying to cope with a harsh winter and intensifying Russian attacks

NewsletterGet all the latest international news straight to your inbox

Subscribe now

Keep up to date with all the latest international news by downloading the RFI app


Most read



Guinea: Claude Pivi, the mystical soldier turned public enemy number one



New releases between Israel and Hamas, truce extension envisaged



Israel-Hamas truce extended by two days, 11 hostages freed including three Frenchmen