“Ukraine blames Russia for everything. In my opinion, they even blame Russia for their own existence. This is a familiar accusation,” Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday.
His comments came shortly after the former head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, Valeriy Kondratyuk, said arsenic and mercury were found in Marianna Budanova’s system after she fell ill. Sources in Ukrainian intelligence have said they believe someone poisoned her food, though she is receiving treatment and is said to be recovering.
Several staffers of the Main Intelligence Directorate were also said to have been poisoned, though authorities have not provided further details or revealed their identities. Kondratyuk told Ukrainian media that the victims were several “high-ranking figures” in the intelligence community who were responsible for operations against Russia.
Predictably, Kremlin-controlled media floated wild conspiracy theories for the poisoning, with a popular state-run talk show airing claims late Tuesday that perhaps Budanova was fooling around with her husband’s subordinates or that Budanov himself had poisoned his wife so he could continue an affair with an MI6 staffer.
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