In the middle of October, Nikolai Melnichenko, ex-security guard of the Ukrainian president, who is supposed to have recorded some conversations of Leonid Kuchma with his visitors, addressed the head of the Ukrainian state with an open letter. In the letter, he informed US Justice Department had proposed for him to hand over all the recordings for an analyses. It is not a secret that this is directly connected with 11 September tragic events and with the US war against so-called terrorists. In the world it is being insisted that Ukraine and its leadership secretly realize a part of the Ukrainian military potential. It was said even that Ukrainian armament was being supplied to people of Osama bin Laden himself. There is no doubt that this information could be picked up from the recordings of the rebellious major. In his letter handed over to Leonid Kuchma through people’s deputy Grigori Omelchenko, leader of “Anti-Mafia” public committee, Nikolai Melnichenko asked the Ukrainian leader to come to the USA up to October 28 (that seems to be the day when he should hand over the recordings) to decide together with the major what records to give over to Americans and what records are state secrets and can not be given over. As well as state secrets of Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Spain, Turkey. and some other countries, which also could be a subject of recorded conversations (including telephone ones) in the Ukrainian president’s office. You see, these records contain about 300 hours of conversations. It looks like the recorder has been there for a long time, while Nikolai Melnichenko’s talks about digital dictaphone under sofa seem to be just an excuse to hide something more important. Of course, if Kuchma and 18 people from his closest surrounding who also were invited to the US with the letter arrive to Washington, they would confirm with their arriving the records are original. Sorting the records by the Ukrainian president would cancel all his excuses about his implications in journalist Gongadze’s disappearance. While Leonid Kuchma still pretends that a bad trick has been played on him with these falsified recordings. To be short, this such a great detective story. However, today, on November 5, one of the leading British newspapers, The Financial Times reported US government, intending to receive all the records of Nikolai Melnichenko, could not do it yet. The newspaper presents as a sensation the fact that Melnichenko does not give over the records. Referring to Nikolai Melnichenko’s lawyer, The Financial Times writes the former security guard of the Ukrainian president motivates his refuse with the explanation some of the records could contain secret information, important for Ukrainian defence. The British newspaper reports US Justice Department neither confirms nor denies this piece of information. The author of the article, Tom Warner, surmises that the Americans asked Melnichenko to hand over the records after the request of lawyers of Ukrainian ex-premier Pavel Lazarenko, kept in American prison since 1999 with accusation of money laundering received in an illegal way.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign