Former Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) officer Valentin Kryzhanovsky, who was attacked by hitmen after he accused his boss Igor Drizhchanny of corruption, blackmail and smuggling, and had to flee from the country, has given a sensational interview about recent events in Ukraine to the Russian daily Izvestia.
According to Kryzhanovsky, the exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who reportedly sponsored Viktor Yushchenko’s campaign, was preparing a car blast during the Orange Revolution, but it was prevented by Russian security forces.
Kryzhanovsky also claimed that the president was not poisoned by his opponents to prevent him from taking part in the presidential elections. He says the president simply drank alcohol by mistake after stem cell therapy. The colonel also said that the investigation of a controversial murder case of a journalist was being used by many Ukrainian politicians to pursue their own aims and had been falsified.
Kryzhanovsky said the car bomb was stopped near Yushchenko’s headquarters last fall during the election campaign. He claims it was supposed to show that political adversaries were trying to get rid of Yushchenko and that it probably would have gone off if Russian security officers had not noticed that Russian license plates were to be used on the vehicle. The link to Russia was needed to show that supporters of the second candidate Viktor Yanukovich, backed by Moscow, were trying to assassinate Yushchenko.
The story of the poisoning that brought Yushchenko the sympathy of many of the country’s citizens was also a lie, the colonel claims.
“Igor Smeshko and Vladimir Satsuk (former chief and deputy chief of the SBU, accused of poisoning Yushchenko during a dinner) did not add poison to his meals,” Kryzhanovsky said. “Smeshko and Yushchenko have been friends for ages. Satsuk used to work at the Ukraine bank that the president headed till 1993.” The colonel claims they were used to explain what had happened to Yushchenko after he had undergone stem cell therapy to look younger and drank alcohol by mistake causing an allergic reaction.
The third denunciation Kryzhanovsky made concerned the murder case of opposition journalist Georgy Gongadze that has remained unsolved since 2000. He claims that according to witnesses’ testimonies, the reporter’s headless body was burned soon after the killing. Viktor Yushchenko proclaimed the solving of the Gongadze case a priority during the revolution, and shortly after he took office the body of the journalist was found. Even Gongadze’s own mother refuses to bury it, Kryzhanovsky stresses.
Valentin Kryzhanovsky, 42, used to work in Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, but in 2004 was invited to join Ukraine’s SBU directorate for fighting corruption and organized crime.