Ukraine spy chief’s wife, 30, POISONED in assassination attempt after her husband led missile & drone blitz on Russia

Ukraine spy chief’s wife, 30, POISONED in assassination attempt after her husband led missile & drone blitz on Russia

UKRAINE’S spy chief’s wife has been poisoned in an apparent assassination attempt after her husband led a drone blitz on Russia.

Marianna Budanova, 30, has been hospitalised after reportedly being poisoned with “heavy metals” – such as arsenic, mercury or lead.

Marianna Budanova, 30, wife of Lt. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, 37

Budanov has led strikes against Russia with missiles and drones

The couple have previously dodged missile strikes

Vladimir Putin’s vile forces are immediately suspected of being behind the attempted hit – with the Kremlin having a love of using poison.

She was hospitalised after a prolonged deterioration of her health”, reported Babel news outlet citing intelligence sources. 

Marianna is the wife of highly respected Lt-Gen Kyrylo Budanov, 37.

He has led operations to attack Russia with missiles and both aerial and sea drones in the 22-month conflict since Vlad’s invasion.

“The course of treatment is now being completed, and then there will be a check-up by the doctors,” said an intelligence source.

The exact nature of the poisoning – for which Russia is suspected – was not identified. 

“These substances are not used in any way in everyday life or military affairs. 

“Their presence may indicate a purposeful attempt to poison a specific person.”

Sources confirmed that attempts were also made on Lt Col Budanov before and after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Respected by Western intelligence agencies, he has been identified as one of Russia’s priority targets in the conflict.

An investigation is being conducted into “the alleged attempt to kill the wife of the head of the [Ukrainian military intelligence agency”.

Marianna is a psychologist by training who has acted as an aide to Kyiv mayor Vitalii Klychko.

She has told how she has lived with her husband at his work since the war started. 

She previously told Elle Ukraine: “On the evening of February 23 [2022], my husband told me that a full-scale invasion would begin at 5:00 am. 

“We got ready and went to his work, and since then we have not been at home. 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. By evening, I oversaw the preparation of the first special forces groups that were supposed to move to Hostomel, and the distribution of weapons and ammunition. 

“Everyone was waiting, at midnight the guys were eating hamburgers from McDonald’s. And they were ready for battle.”

She refused to leave Ukraine and has remained by his side, she said. 

“I’ll be honest – I had no fear or panic,” she said.

“As the wife of a military man who was wounded three times (two moderate wounds and one serious), I was mentally prepared for any scenario. 

“Therefore, I acted clearly and confidently: I did what I was told to do, everyone acted as a single team and a single whole.

“You have to understand that there was almost no peacetime as such for my family. 

She has also spoken about living in constant fear due to her husband’s work.

And she revealed at one point the couple were sheltering when they were hit by a mis

Marianna said: “This may seem strange, but the first thought that flashed through my head was: I need to cover my face so that if I die, at least with my face uncut. 

“I was ready for anything, but I didn’t expect that there would be thick grey dust in the air, like fog. 

“It immediately turns your eyes red and gives off a strong pungent odour. 

“I remembered that I needed to breathe through my nose so that small particles from the glass did not get into the trachea. 

“At that moment I ran out to the door, Kyrylo ran towards me.”

Putin’s ‘viciously theatrical’ love of poison

POISON is a weapon which may feel more at home in the Middle Ages – yet it appears to be the method of choice for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Marianna Budanov joins a list of names such as opposition leader Alexei Navalny and even ex-Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich who have been taken ill in mysterious circumstances.

Poisonings linked to the Kremlin have left opponents disfigured, in medically induced comas, and worst of all dying slow and painful deaths.

And the method seems to differ every time, with poison-tipped umbrellas, chemical agents daubed on doorknobs, or simply toxins spiked into victims food and drinks.

At least eight prominent critics of Putin and his regime are suspected to have been poisoned after being taken ill in mysterious circumstances.

Experts have said Putin’s apparent fetish for such a medieval weapon is for two reasons – its “easy deniability” and its “vicious theatricality”.

Mark Galeotti, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told Foreign Policy: “One of poison’s great virtues for the politically-minded murderer is their capacity to combine easy deniability and vicious theatricality.

“Even while the murderer denies any role, perhaps with a sly wink, the victim dies a horrific and often lengthy death.

“A message in a poison bottle.”

Victims can spend weeks in hospital fighting for their lives and even if they survive they will have been sent an unforgettable message – don’t mess with Putin.

John Sipher, who spent 28 years working with the CIA, said: “The Kremlin has a long, ugly history of intimidating and killing those who they see as a threat to the state.

“Journalists, opposition figures, vocal Russians abroad, and others always have to remain aware that the Kremlin doesn’t see them as free citizens.”

Poison seems to have been the weapon of choice for Russia since the Cold War.

Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was injected with a poison-tipped umbrella by in an assassination linked to the KGB in 1978.

The Soviet Union is known to have carried out research into untraceable poisons that were tested on gulag prisoners.

Gennadi V. Gudkov, a former KGB colonel, said poison is often used as its easy and anyone could do it – such as by lacing a cup of tea at an airport cafe.

He told the New York Times: “It is easy, and easy to cover your tracks.”

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