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Military intelligence: Budanov's wife poisoned

by Martin Fornusek November 28, 2023 10:57 AM 3 min read
Marianna Budanova. (Marianna Budanova/YouTube)
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Marianna Budanova, the wife of Ukraine's Military Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov, was poisoned, a representative of the military intelligence agency (HUR), not allowed to go public at this time, told the Kyiv Independent on Nov. 28.

Military intelligence spokesperson Andrii Yusov officially confirmed that Budanova was poisoned by heavy metals and is undergoing treatment in a comment for Radio Free Europe/Europe Liberty later that day.

The Ukrainian media outlet Babel reported earlier on Nov. 28, citing undisclosed military intelligence sources, that Budanova had been hospitalized due to heavy metal poisoning after a prolonged deterioration of her health.

The military intelligence representative confirmed Babel's report in a comment for the Kyiv Independent.

"The course of treatment is now being completed, and then there will be a check-up by the doctors," Babel's source said.

"These substances are not used in any way in everyday life and military affairs. Their presence may indicate a purposeful attempt to poison a specific person."

Ukrainska Pravda later reported, citing security service sources, that Budanova "is doing better now as she has undergone the first stage of treatment."

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The media refer to Marianna Budanova as a psychologist, volunteer, and public figure.

She unsuccessfully ran for the Kyiv City Council as a candidate of Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko's UDAR party in 2020. She has then worked as Klitschko's advisor on combating corruption in youth politics and sports.

Budanov said in an August interview for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that his wife Marianna lives with him in his office and that the couple are constantly together for security reasons.

The current military intelligence chief served in the Donbas war in 2014, reportedly suffering several injuries during the hostilities.

He briefly became the deputy director of Ukraine's foreign intelligence agency in 2020 before he was appointed to lead the military intelligence the same year by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Budanov was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general in September.

Yusov previously said that Russia had made more than 10 attempts on Kyrylo Budanov's life.

The military intelligence agency is directly subordinate to the country's defense ministry.  The agency describes its chief tasks as gathering intelligence, identifying external threats to Ukraine, and combatting terrorism and foreign intelligence activities.

While much of its activities remain classified, the military intelligence confirmed responsibility for several attacks against the Russian rear during the full-scale war.

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