Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mysterious accidents?

BYuT VR deputy and veteran anti-corruption fighter Hryhoriy Omelchenko was badly injured when he was knocked down in an automobile 'accident' in Kyiv today. On 1st April, BYuT VR deputy Andriy Shkil, a close aide of Yuliya Tymoshenko, was also involved in a car crash and badly injured.

And several days ago, on May 9th, PoR deputy Anatoliy Antemyuk was killed in a car smash.

These incidents may well have been the result of the reckless devil-may-care attitude many 'nouveau-riche' Ukrainians have to traffic regulations. But another recent incident still leaves a lingering unease.

On Saturday 1st of May, Major-General Oleh Chornousenko was killed in a car smash reminiscent of the one in which Vyacheslav Chornovil was killed. It involved his top-of-the-range Toyota 'Avalon' saloon, and a ZIL-130 truck, near the city of Rivne.

In 2005 - 2006 Chornousenko had been head of the SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] in Kyiv, but was sacked by Yushchenko almost exactly a year ago. He had also been head of security of 'Nasha Ukraina'.

According to 'Stolichnye Novosti', the crash in Rivne has been investigated by a local prosecutor only, who concluded that Chornousenko himself was responsible for the accident. Rather oddly, no other, more senior investigators took part in the investigation, despite the victim's high rank.

The reason for Chernousenko's sudden death may have been because he knew too many secrets, in particular about the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko, according to 'S.N.'

During the 2004 election campaign Chornousenko supervised 'Our Ukraine's' security service so, he certainly would be familiar with the details of the dioxin poisoning of the future of the head of the state.

Former SBU chief Ihor Smeshko, who was present at the infamous 'last supper' with Yushchenko and Volodymyr Satsyuk, himself has declared that it was Chornousenko rather that Chervonenko who was in charge of Yuschenko's security, and that Chornousenko consulted directly at that time with SBU general Olexander Skibinetsky, who was one of Smesko's advisers.

The 'S.N.' article suggests Chornousenko became a threat to Yushchenko after he had been dismissed by the president - there was no guarantee that general Chornousenko would not go over to the white-blue camp and 'spill the beans' on the dioxin poisoning.

Coincidentally, Rinat Akhmetov's 'Segodnya' runs an interview with Volodymyr Satsyuk, at who's dacha the fateful supper took place, and also has a piece on Yushchenko's illness and stay at the Rudolfinerhaus clinic. He claims Yushchenko fell ill after his visit to Vienna...

Tomorrow, 16th May Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun, minister of internal affairs Vasyl Tsushko, and acting head of the SBU, are to provide details to the VR on statements by Presidential Secretariat spokesman for questions on the activities of the law-enforcement agencies, Valeriy Heletey, about possible assasination attempts on leading Ukrainian politicians [Some anti-crisis coalition members called Heletey's declarations 'a provocation.']

There's surely lots of muddying of the waters going on here. Nevertheless, there have been too many 'accidents' involving the country's rulers in recent times to be mere co-incidence. Or maybe not?

One thing is certain - participation in top-level politics in Ukraine carries risks.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Given the way people drive in Kyiv, it could be coincidence or not! :)