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Ukraine spy chief's wife undergoes treatment for suspected poisoning with heavy metals

Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's military intelligence chief, centre, attends a commemorative event on the occasion of the Russia Ukraine war one year anniversary in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 24, 2023. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File) Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's military intelligence chief, centre, attends a commemorative event on the occasion of the Russia Ukraine war one year anniversary in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 24, 2023. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)
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KYIV, Ukraine -

The wife of Ukraine's intelligence chief has been diagnosed with heavy metals poisoning and is undergoing treatment in a hospital, a spokesperson for the agency said Tuesday.

Marianna Budanova is the wife of Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine's military intelligence agency known by its local acronym GUR. Her poisoning was confirmed to The Associated Press by Andrii Yusov, the agency's spokesman.

He did not provide more details about the alleged poisoning, nor did he say who might be behind it.

Earlier this year, Yusov told Ukrainian media that Budanov had survived 10 assassination attempts carried out by the FSB, the Russian state security service.

Previously, Budanov had also told local media that his wife lives with him in his office, which could suggest he was the intended target for the poisoning.

There was no immediate comment from Russia on the claim. Russia media and commentators picked up the Ukrainian reports, with some speculating that it could be part of infighting in Ukraine.

Local media, quoting their sources in GUR, say Budanova is currently hospitalized in Kyiv.

The exact nature of the heavy metals that caused the poisoning has not been made public. However, local media said the metals were not used domestically or in military equipment, so the GUR representatives presume the poisoning was carried out intentionally, possibly through food or drink.

Apart from Budanova, several GUR personnel were also diagnosed with the same poisoning. An official statement with more details is to be released by GUR.

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