Marianna Budanova, the wife of Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov, has reportedly been poisoned with heavy metals, according to Ukrainian media cited by Reuters. The incident adds a layer of complexity to the already tense situation between Ukraine and Russia.

Who is Marianna Budanova?

Little is known about Marianna Budanova, but her identity has gained prominence due to her association with Kyrylo Budanov, who has played a pivotal role in clandestine operations against Russian troops during the ongoing conflict.

Marianna’s reported poisoning comes weeks after the Russian government announced its pursuit of terrorism charges against Budanov and three other military officials in connection to drone strikes on Russian territory and regions of Ukraine under Russian control.

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The circumstances surrounding Marianna Budanova’s poisoning remain unclear, leaving speculation about the motives and those responsible. Ukrainian media outlet Babel suggests that other members of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency may have also been targeted. Reports indicate that Marianna is currently hospitalized and undergoing treatment for the poisoning.

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have escalated, with accusations and counteraccusations becoming a common occurrence. Budanov’s previous vow to “keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine” has only intensified the animosity. The Russian government’s decision to charge him and other military officials with terrorism further complicates the geopolitical landscape.

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Both Ukrainian and Russian military forces have utilized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the conflict, expanding the scope beyond the frontline. The charges against Budanov and others stem from the use of drones in conducting strikes, with both sides targeting military and infrastructure assets.

As Marianna Budanova undergoes treatment for poisoning, the incident adds a disturbing dimension to the ongoing conflict, raising questions about the methods employed by those involved and the potential impact on diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Russia.