Leonid Kuchma's Confidants Plan to Bump Off the Chief, Seize Power

In the Ukrainian regional newspaper Molod Cherkaschiny, a sensational article has appeared reporting about a possible attempt on Leonid Kuchma’s life, while the plotters are the president’s own men.

The author of the article, Vladimir Yeremenko, quotes his conversation with a Kiev journalist. This journalist is said to have learned about a possible “rescue scenario” that Ukrainian elite had worked out for itself.

The president’s position is so unstable now, that the Kuchma’s men are looking out for their own interests. The regime can cope with internal opposition, though anti-Kuchma spirits are spreading in the West. The previous aim – to keep Kuchma until the next presidential election – looks more and more unlikely. So, “the load” is too heavy, as the West starts to freeze accounts, not only those of Kuchma, but of his assistants as well. As the process of the Kuchma’s downfall becomes irreversible, the president’s friends will burn all bridges not to go down with Kuchma.

There are two variants of the president’s “extradition.” According to the first, Kuchma’s brothers-in-arms “will take the side of the opposition and arrest the chief.” However, this is not the best way, for “they would have to agree to secondary roles, because the first ones will belong to the opposition representatives.” Therefore, Kuchma’s brother-in-arms will have no guarantees in the future (not saying that the opposition hardly will believe in the good intentions of some of today’s Kuchma supporters). Though, there is one more solution, a “surgical” solution, a solution that will allow Kuchma’s men to save themselves: to knock him off!

Actually, it is reported that several attempts have already been made on the president’s life. One attempt was averted by Azerbaijanian special services. The Ukrainian ambassador to Azerbaijan, Boris Alexeenko, told journalists from the newspaper Fakty i Kommentarii: “In 1995, when Leonid Kuchma came on his first visit to Azerbaijan, an attack on both at the Ukrainian and the Azerbaijanian presidents was being prepared. Leaving the Bina airport, the presidential column should have pass a bridge before driving in the city of Baku. A bomb was placed under this bridge, equivalent 300 g of TNT. If the bomb had blown up, both the presidents and their associates would have been killed, while all houses (this is a very populated district) at a distance of 3 km from the spot would have been annihilated.”

In 1999, the Ukrainian Security Service workers detained a man who was said to have planned a terrorist act against Leonid Kuchma during his visit to Sumy Region. According to Ukrainian Security Service, the detained person had several previous convictions. “The detained confessed that he had accomplices who were wanted by the police,” – the Security Council press service reported.

In 2000, Chairman of Ukrainian Security Service Leonid Derkach said at the summit of the CIS state heads in the city of Yalta that an assault was being prepared on one of the leaders. According to him, four Chechens were detained, as well as several Middle-Eastern people. What happened with them? Was there an investigation? Was there a trial? The Security Service is silent.

I also remember the “conspiracy of mushroomers,” the veterans of the Soviet Army who supposedly intended to bomb the Chenobyl power station and overthrow Kuchma. At that time, some critics supposed that the Security Service head wanted himself to occupy the presidential chair and intended to raise his ratings. However, after the “cassette scandal,” Leonid Derkach retired and all the conspiracies stopped.

This time, the idea of bumping off the chief is said to have been born in the presidential administration itself. “The President will be killed by his own people,” – quotes the author of the article, while the opposition will be certainly accused of this act. “This assassination will untie the hands of the current presidential administration. They will find support among the people, and offer strict measures against the ‘killers.’ According to the article, Kuchma can escape by sending in his resignation; otherwise, the president’s men might speed up the situation and take measures on their own.

“The scenario of Kuchma’s assassination has been written, the participants have been appointed, and special addresses to the nation are already prepared,” – Yeremenko quotes the insider journalist. The Kiev journalist warned Yeremenko that what said was not for publication; however, as she did not come to the next meeting, Yeremenko understood it as signal for action. “My publication will probably stop the train, which is already on its way to its disgraceful destination,” – Yeremenko writes.

In the article, there is a footnote: “the publication is devoted to April 1, 2005, when we all can drink – with relief or sympathy” (After the presidential election? However, it should take place in 2004…) We are very interested in the reactions of both the president and his men.

Andrei Lubyensky PRAVADA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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