‘Poison assassination attempt on Ukrainian military chief’s wife leaves her seriously ill in hospital’
According to reports today, the wife of the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence is recovering from an attempt to assassinate her.
Marianna Budanova, 30, was ‘poisoned with heavy metals’ and is in hospital.
This followed a “prolonged deterioration in her health,” news channel Babel reported, citing intelligence sources.
Budanova is the wife of Ukraine’s highly respected Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov, 37, who led operations to attack Russia with missiles and both air and sea drones during the 22-month conflict. Such attacks have been devastatingly effective.
“The course of treatment is now being completed and after that a check-up will take place by the doctors,” said an intelligence source about Budanova’s recovery.
According to reports today, the wife of the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence is recovering from an attempt to assassinate her. Marianna Budanova (pictured), 30, was ‘poisoned with heavy metals’ and is in hospital, they said
Budanova (pictured) is a psychologist by training who has acted as an assistant to Kiev Mayor Vitalii Klychko. The exact nature of the poisoning that caused him to become ill – and which Russia is suspected of – was not identified
The exact nature of the poisoning – which Russia is suspected of – has not been determined, and it later emerged that other military intelligence agencies had been poisoned and are now undergoing tests.
Ukrainian sources later revealed that spymaster Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov did not appear to have been poisoned.
The attack was most likely the result of food laced with poison, it was stated.
‘These substances are in no way used in everyday life or in military matters. Their presence may indicate a deliberate attempt to poison a specific person.’
Sources confirmed that attempts had also been made against Kyrylo Budanov before and after the large-scale invasion. He is respected by Western intelligence services and has been identified as one of Russia’s main targets in the conflict.
Investigations are underway into “the alleged attempt to assassinate the wife of the head of the (Ukrainian Military Intelligence Service”).
Ukrainska Pravda quoted an unnamed source as saying: “It is true that Budanov’s wife was (poisoned). She complained that she wasn’t feeling well, so she did some tests, which showed poisoning.” The poisoning “was most likely poisoned by food.”
“She is doing better now and has passed the first phase of treatment,” the source said. “Since Budanov’s wife is small and has a small weight, it manifested itself in her faster.
The poisoning was later confirmed in several other employees. “They didn’t notice anything wrong with themselves and are now being treated,” the source said.
Moscow is suspected of being behind several chemical assassinations, both in Russia and abroad, including in Ukraine.
In 2004, Viktor Yushchenko – who ran against Kremlin-backed candidate Viktor Yanukovych in the Ukrainian presidential elections – was left permanently scarred when he was poisoned with dioxin. His face still shows the signs to this day.
In Britain, Russia was found responsible for the poisoning and death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, and it was considered highly likely that Moscow was behind the attempted poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in 2018.
Moscow is also suspected of being behind the plot to kill Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who fell ill during a flight and fell into a coma in 2020.
The nerve agent Novichok appeared to have been used in the 2018 and 2020 attempts. The poison was developed by the Soviet Union and is known to have been used in assassination plots in Russia since the mid-1990s.
Marianna is a psychologist by training and has acted as an assistant to the mayor of Kiev, Vitalii Klychko.
She tells how she has lived with her husband at work since the outbreak of the war.
She previously told Elle Ukraine: “On the evening of February 23, 2022, my husband told me that a full-scale invasion would start at 5 a.m.
Marianna Budanova is the wife of highly respected Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov (pictured), 37, who led operations to attack Russia with missiles and both air and sea drones during the 22-month conflict.
“We got ready and went to work, and we haven’t been home since. I can’t say that we prepared in any special way: documents, phones, a set of clothes for the first time.
‘With that we left. Towards the evening I oversaw the preparation of the first special forces groups that would move to Hostomel, and the distribution of weapons and ammunition.
‘Everyone was waiting, at midnight the boys were eating McDonald’s hamburgers. And they were ready for battle.”
She refused to leave Ukraine and has remained by his side, she said.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t have any fear or panic,” she said.
“As the wife of a soldier who was injured three times (two moderate and one serious), I was mentally prepared for any scenario.
‘That’s why I acted clearly and confidently: I did what I was told, everyone acted as one team and one whole.
‘You have to understand that for my family there was almost no peacetime as such.
‘A few months after I met my future husband, dramatic events began to unfold on the Maidan (the 2014 Ukrainian revolution).
“Then, as you know, everything went on and on: the annexation of Crimea, the fighting in the Donbas….
‘I’m used to living in a constant state of preparation and expectation.
‘That is why the first days of the invasion did not come as a shock to me.
“This is what Carl von Clausewitz called the fog of war – when it is felt before it begins.”
She talked about one rocket attack during the war.
“I took off her shoes and lay down on the couch opposite the window,” she said.
‘And a few minutes later I hear a sound that cannot be confused with anything: the sound of an approaching missile.
‘I’m barefoot, with boots in one hand and documents in the other.
‘This may seem strange, but the first thought that crossed my mind was: I need to cover my face so that when I die, at least my face will remain uncut.
Investigations are underway into “the alleged attempt to assassinate the wife of the head of the (Ukrainian military intelligence). In the photo: Budanova (left) and Budanov
‘I was prepared for anything, but I didn’t expect there to be thick gray dust in the air, like fog.
‘It immediately turns your eyes red and gives off a strong, pungent odor.
‘I remembered that I had to breathe through my nose so that small particles from the glass did not enter the windpipe.
“At that moment I ran to the door, Kyrylo ran to me.”