First Published: 2011-02-28


Gathafi's 'voluptuous' Ukrainian nurse keeps mum


Kolotnytska appears not to be shifting from ground floor apartment in suburb of Brovary outside Kiev.


Middle East Online

By Anya Tsukanova - BROVARY

Kolotnytska, centre, was omnipresent with Gathafi

The Ukrainian nurse who allegedly was a vital part of Libyan ruler Moamer Gathafi's daily routine stayed silent Monday after returning home from nine years away working in Libya.

Galyna Kolotnytska, who US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks said was so important to Gathafi he could not travel without her, appeared not to be shifting from a ground floor apartment in the suburb of Brovary outside Kiev.

Several journalists were laying siege to the 1960s apartment block, creating a rare hive of activity in the otherwise dull suburb 30 kilometres (20 miles) from Kiev as they hoped to catch sight of the nurse described as a "voluptuous blonde".

The modest apartment is the home of her mother Iryna as well as her young adult daughter Tetyana, who finally emerged after journalists knocked on the door and sent text messages to her.

"Please understand, mum is so tired right now. Let her have some rest," Tetyana told waiting reporters, including an AFP correspondent, hinting that her mother may be prepared to speak out at a later date.

Kolotnytska arrived in Kiev in the early hours of Sunday by plane, along with other Ukrainians who were evacuated from the unrest in Libya, and was immediately hurried by relatives into a car and taken home.

Ukrainian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda on Monday said it had managed to speak to her mother Iryna, who after telling its reporter to "go to hell" also said Galyna had no intention of returning to Libya.

"You have slandered and tarnished the reputation of my daughter by saying that she was some kind of lover of Gathafi. I'll just tell you one thing: Galya will not return to Libya again!"

The popular Segodnia daily meanwhile quoted Galyna Kolotnytska herself as saying: "Do not disturb me, I am in such a state."

Kolotnytska left Ukraine for Libya nine years ago. She initially worked as a nurse in a hospital and became Gathafi's nurse later.

Good salaries meant that Libya became a popular destination for Ukrainian medical workers during the 1990s and before the current unrest hundreds of Ukrainian nurses and doctors were working in the country.

Tetyana had announced in an interview with Segodnia on Saturday that her mother was leaving Libya due to the turmoil that has shaken Gathafi's regime and left him only in control of part of the country.

"There is shooting, fighting and everything else they show on television. She spoke in a calm voice, asked us not to worry, and said she will be home soon," she said then.

The diplomatic cables, which were sent by diplomats in Tripoli to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009, revealed that Gathafi was almost always accompanied by Kolotnytska.

Gathafi "relies heavily on his long-time Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, who has been described as a 'voluptuous blonde'," said one dispatch.

It referred to a "rumored staff of four Ukrainian nurses that cater to the Leader's health and well-being", adding that Gathafi "cannot travel without Kolotnytska, as she alone 'knows his routine'," the dispatch said.

Tetyana Kolotnytska also confirmed in the Segodnia interview that "there are other Ukrainian nurses" surrounding Gathafi. "For some reason, he does not trust the Libyan women," the daughter said.


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