Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gadhafi's Nurse Going Home

Gadhafi's Nurse Says She's Going Home


KIEV, Ukraine—Embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is set to be deserted by another close ally after his Ukrainian nurse said she was heading home.

Galyna Kolotnytska, described in a diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks as a "voluptuous blond" who "travel[s] everywhere" with Col. Gadhafi, called her family in Kiev on Friday to say she intends to return to Ukraine, her daughter told daily Segodnya.

"Mom got in touch yesterday. She said she was now in Tripoli," Tetyana Kolotnytska said. "She spoke in a calm voice, asked us not to worry and said she'd soon be home."

According to the cable from September 2009, contacts in Tripoli told U.S. diplomats that Col. Gadhafi "relies heavily" on Ms. Kolotnytska, then 38, as "she alone 'knows his routine.'"

The cable also reported claims from unnamed sources that the eccentric Libyan leader and the nurse, part of a retinue of four Ukrainians, "have a romantic relationship."

Ms. Kolotnytska's daughter said her mother had been in Libya for nine years, originally employed in a hospital before starting work for Col. Gadhafi.

"Other Ukrainian women also work for him as nurses. Mom is one of them," she said. "For some reason, he doesn't trust Libyan women with this matter."

Write to James Marson at

KIEV, Ukraine—A member of Col. Moammar Gadhafi's Ukrainian nursing staff provided a rare glimpse into the eccentric leader's inner circle—saying he travels with a retinue of four handpicked Ukrainian nurses and doesn't sleep in the large tent he famously hauls on trips.

Oksana, a 24-year-old nurse who worked for Col. Gadhafi for more than two years, said she was selected after being personally interviewed by Col. Gadhafi when he visited Kiev in 2008. She had registered with a recruiting agency and was called for what she called a "casting."

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