Kyrylo Budanov
Kyrylo Budanov, the chief of Ukraine's defense. Photo/, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Ukrainian authorities have claimed that the wife of Ukraine's military spy chief has been poisoned with heavy metals and is undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Marianna Budanova is the wife of Kyrylo Budanov, the chief of Ukraine's defence agency. Local media outlets first reported the news and the confirmation from the agency came this week.

However, they did not divulge any details about the kind of metal used in the poisoning or about who might have tried to kill Marianna. An investigation has been launched into the matter, per The Associated Press.

Some experts have claimed that Russia might be responsible for the attack. If it is proved that it was indeed Russia behind the attack, it will become the most serious targeting of a high-profile person in Ukraine.

It is being reported that Kyrylo has survived as many as 10 assassination attempts by Russia's state security service.

It also needs to be noted that Russia has a history of using poison against its enemies. It has been accused of trying to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a former British spy, double agent Sergeĭ Skripal, and journalist and politician Vladimir Kara-Murza in the past.

In 2018, Russia was accused of using a nerve agent to try and murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. The father-and-daughter duo had to spend several days in critical condition in a UK hospital before they recovered.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nerve agents are highly poisonous chemicals that work by preventing the nervous system from working properly.

Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko died after being poisoned with radioactive polonium in London in 2006, with a public inquiry concluding that the killing was probably carried out with the approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

His death was caused by the ingestion of a fatal dose of the radioactive isotope polonium-210. It is a naturally occurring radioactive material that emits extremely hazardous alpha particles.

There are very small amounts of polonium-210 in the soil, the atmosphere, and the human body. However, when ingested at high doses, polonium-210 is fatal and very difficult to identify. Just one microgram of polonium-210, which is no bigger than a speck of dust, would be enough to deliver a fatal dose of radiation.

Skripal was once a military intelligence officer in Russia but provided information to MI6 before being traded in a spy swap with Russia.

Ukraine has also been accused of killing a pro-war Russian blogger and a pro-war journalist in Russia. However, it has dismissed all such accusations.