Wife of Ukraine’s Military Spy Chief Hospitalized over Suspected Poisoning

Ukraine has alleged that the wife of the nation’s top military spy chief has been hospitalized after being poisoned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a lengthy history of allegedly using various poisons as a means to secretly attack and sicken or kill critics, opponents, and rivals who stand in his way.

A new name could possibly be added to that list as Marianna Budanova, the wife of Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, was reportedly hospitalized after being poisoned with unspecified “heavy metals,” according to Fox News.

It was noted by the outlet that the Ukrainian spy chief has been charged in absentia in Russia with terrorism over his leading countless drone strikes and other attacks in Russian territory during the ongoing war.

Budanov has also previously vowed that he would “keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine.”

Reuters reported that a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military intelligence agency GUR confirmed that Marianna Budanova had been hospitalized to receive treatment after being poisoned.

The spokesperson further revealed that several other top GUR officials were also suspected of having been poisoned.

However, they experienced “milder symptoms” and it is unclear if they required hospitalization and treatment in the same manner as Budanova.

It is also unclear who is responsible for the alleged poisoning — though, obviously, Russia is the primary suspect — and Reuters noted that if the initial reports prove true that this was a deliberate attack, the poisoning of Budanova “would represent the most serious targeting of a high-profile Ukrainian leadership figure’s family member during the 21-month-long war.”

The outlet noted that separate and apart from this alleged attempt on the life of Budanova, Chief Budanov himself has reportedly been targeted by assassination attempts on multiple occasions, including a failed car bombing attempt.

That was likely due to the publicity and credit that Budanov has received in Ukraine and among Western allies for his direction of countless drone strikes and other unconventional attacks against Russian forces, leaders, and critical infrastructure in occupied portions of Ukraine as well as in Russia, including in the capital city of Moscow.

In turn, the Kremlin has accused Budanov and others of being responsible for the deaths of pro-Russian journalists in Ukraine and on Russian soil.

Ukraine formally denies those charges, however.

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Russia has issued arrest warrants on charges of terrorism against Budanov and other GUR officials.

If it does turn out to be true that Marianna Budanova was poisoned by the Russians, this would not be the first time that Putin will have used that particular weapon against a perceived enemy, according to an Associated Press report.

In August, a mysterious plane crash also killed rebellious Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Indeed, Putin has been accused on multiple occasions over the past few decades of using various poisons to dispatch or attempt to kill individuals that he believes to pose a threat to his continued authoritarian leadership.

In some cases, a fatal nerve agent is used, and in others, radioactive materials.

Some of the Russian dictator’s alleged poisoning victims include opposition leader Alexei Navalny, prominent protest leader Pyotr Verzilov, another opposition leader named Vladimir Kara-Murza, former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, and former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, along with his daughter Yulia.

Of course, Putin doesn’t always resort to clandestine efforts to poison his perceived enemies and rivals.

Instead, it is also alleged that Russia uses even more effective means of assassination, including point-blank shootings and sending people flying out of open windows in high-rise buildings, among other deadly tactics.

Nevertheless, Putin, the former KGB agent-turned-president, has always staunchly denied any involvement in the series of attempted assassinations and actual deaths of his enemies, opponents, and rivals.

He does seemingly maintain plausible deniability that keeps him at arm’s length from those deadly deeds.

It is important to note that such attempts would almost certainly not be made without his direct approval.

READ MORE: Biden Pushes $106 Billion Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

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By Nick R. Hamilton

Nick has a broad background in journalism, business, and technology. He covers news on cryptocurrency, traditional assets, and economic markets.

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