The Georgiy Gongadze Assassination
President Richard Nixon lived an extended and engaging existence. However he has long past down in American historical past essentially because the evil genius in the back of the Watergate affair, which prompted his resignation. The Lady in Kherson. President Leonid Kuchma didn’t surrender, despite the fact that his complete 2nd time period used to be overshadowed by means of the Georgiy Gongadze homicide case.
Journalist and media proprietor Georgiy Gongadze disappeared overdue within the night of September 16, 2000. After getting ready the most recent factor of web newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda (Ukrainian Reality). Gongadze disappeared on his manner house. No one noticed him once more. A lot later it transpired that the journalist were killed on September 17. His decapitated frame used to be discovered on November 2 within the Taraschansky woods about 100 kilometers from Kyiv.
Gongadze used to be born on Would possibly 1, 1969, in Tbilisi to the circle of relatives of Georgian dissident and filmmaker Ruslan Gongadze and Ukrainian Lesya Gongadze (Korchak). Even ahead of the autumn of the Soviet Union, he used to be drafted into the military and served in Afghanistan. Following his father’s instance, Gongadze joined the opposition motion, heading the tips middle of the Georgian Common Entrance. In 1989, he moved to Ukraine to his mom’s homeland of Lviv (close to Poland). After his father’s loss of life, Georgi joined the insurrection military in Abkhazia, made a number of documentaries in regards to the Georgian-Abkhazian battle, used to be severely wounded, and shortly returned to Ukraine.
After graduating from the College of International Languages of the Lviv Nationwide College, Gongadze changed into an anchor of TV systems on Lviv tv.23 In 2000, he based Ukrayinska Pravda by which he and editor-in-chief Alyona Pritula sharply criticized the regime of Leonid Kuchma and revealed sensational fabrics in regards to the President and his interior circle. The police continuously watched and pressured him and, ahead of his disappearance on July 14, 2000, Gongadze had despatched an open letter to Kuchma’s Lawyer Basic Mykhailo Potebenko complaining of being haunded by means of state officers.
Whilst this used to be occurring, Primary Melnychenko used to be wiretapping the conversations of President Kuchma and his guests for Basic Marchuk. A part of the greater than 600 hours of recordings used to be Kuchma’s dialogue of the Gongadze case. We all know this as a result of Melnychenko left Ukraine and printed his involvement and that the tapes had been in his ownership.
On November 28, 2000, Oleksandr Moroz, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada learn out excerpts from the “Kuchma tapes” from the podium of Ukraine’s parliament. Moroz used to be the chief of the Socialist birthday celebration based by means of individuals of Ukraine’s Communist Birthday celebration after it used to be banned in 1991 (this “Socialist” birthday celebration would itself be banned in 2022, after Russia’s invasion).
Moroz accused the President of involvement within the disappearance of the journalist, “We should prevent society sliding additional into a depressing morass of illegal activity and gangsterism. Due to this fact, having enough grounds to take action, I’m pressured to make public that the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma ordered journalist Georgiy Gongadze’s disappearance, anyone who systematically criticized him. Kuchma’s Leader of Body of workers Volodymyr Lytvyn used to be acutely aware of the arrangements from the very starting. The person who accomplished the order and arranged it used to be Yuriy Kravchenko, the Inner Minister”.
On the press convention that adopted, Yuriy Lutsenko, a member of Moroz’s Socialist Birthday celebration, learn out a transcript by which the President requested Minister Kravchenko to “care for” the journalist.
Yuri Felshtinsky (co-author of this e-book) used to be in a position to acquire the whole transcriptions of the Kuchma tapes recorded by means of Melnychenko, together with those who relate to the homicide of Gongadze.
Leonid Kuchma and Oleksandr Zinchenko, Head of the Parliamentary Committee at the Freedom of Speech and Press, Would possibly 13, 2000
Kuchma: [On the phone] Oh, concentrate, I’ve been f**king combating with Zayts for an hour and a part as an alternative of half-hour, for f**ok’s sake!
Zinchenko: [Enters] Would possibly I?
Kuchma: Sure, you f**king stored me, I didn’t know the way [to end that call with Zavts], I stated: “Let Zinchenko input.” [Both laugh loudly.]
Zinchenko: Leonid, thanks. Smartly, if I might, I’ll be very temporary. There are a couple of issues that experience cropped up, and a few extra severe ones which, in case you have the time, we will be able to talk about later. As to the run ups, there are two dates: June 6 is Reporters’ Day, and I’d make a proposal to take a look at to start up, you realize, the issue of freedom of speech, reporters and so forth. […]
Kuchma: How “freedom of “ gathers in combination essentially the most, essentially the most opposition reporters – scum. F**ok. I’m sorry, there are proficient reporters there too. […] And that Georgian is there.
Kuchma: Georgadze, for f**ok’s sake.
Recording of Kuchma’s dialog with TV host Vyacheslav Pikhovshek, June 12, 2000
Pikhovshek: I sought after to invite – I don’t know in the event you noticed it – about that tale on ORT that Kuchma used to be elected with the assistance of felony components. I don’t know who’s in the back of it, but when any longer data comes out, the clicking will get started reprinting it, citing those allegations and so forth: there used to be a gathering of felony bosses in Kharkiv, and so they agreed to fortify Kuchma within the elections.
Kuchma: Smartly, you realize, it’s completely, to be able to discuss…
Pikhovshek: No, I perceive, however you need to reply.
Kuchma: Now they’ll kind it out, to be able to say. Gongadze is in the back of the ones articles in Nezavisimaya Gazeta [A Moscow newspaper].
Pikhovshek: He’s nuts.
Kuchma: However he’s being financed. I don’t need to care for [it] now, they’re double-checking it.
Recording of Kuchma’s dialog with Leonid Derkach, Head of the SBU, June 12, 2000
Derkach: So, Leonid, I’ll depart it to you, proper?
Kuchma: Depart it to me.
Derkach: And yet another factor. Why don’t you learn this for a couple of mins. Learn it. That is the person who’s in the back of the item that the following Ukrainian Putin is Derkach. The entire thing, it’s Gongadze.
Derkach: Sure, sure.
Kuchma: So you’ll be able to hint him,… to this very piece?
Derkach: He’ll be f**ked. I’m going to f**ok him up until the top. [Rada deputy Mykhailo] Brodsky gave him the f**king cash.
Derkach: Brodsky gave him the cash […] So, the truth is that he wrote this newsletter. F**ok it, it’s all bullshit, we don’t want this. However right here’s the item [Derkach quickly flips through documents, speaks a few words inaudibly] right here he wrote such libel towards you, that it’s such as you and I are on each and every different [one word unintelligible]. Smartly, don’t learn it, it’s silly shit. His web newspaper is in the back of it. We’re going to make him pay for it this time. […]
Kuchma: Gongadze! All proper, I’ll learn it. Smartly, correctly care for him, he’s overall scum.
Derkach: Let’s put Gongadze in his position.
Recording of Kuchma’s dialog with the Head of the SBU Derkach, June 22, 2000.
Kuchma: Ok. So you’re surely certain that Georgadze, this Georgian, Georgadze is f**king financed by means of Brodsky, proper?
Derkach: Smartly, this is our data. I say, we nailed him, however one thing, totally…
Kuchma: Must I inform Medvedchuk [First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDPU), and a close friend of Vladimir Putin]: “Why the f**ok are you permitting Brodsky to assist Georgadze.”
Recording of a convention name between Kuchma and his Leader of Body of workers Volodymyr Lytvyn and an unknown particular person, July 3, 2000
Kuchma: Just right day.
Lytvyn: Just right afternoon.
Kuchma: Give me that one, from Ukrayinska Pravda. When you make a decision what to do with him let me know. He has totally misplaced it.
Lytvyn: I want a case.
Lytvyn: I want a case.
Kuchma: Ok. […]
[Two people enter the office, ostensibly, Lytvyn and the unknown.]
Unidentified guy [with a Georgian/Chechen accent]: Would possibly I, please?
[Kuchma goes through papers.]
Kuchma: Ukrayinska Pravda – they’re a f**king nightmare, after all, I seemed him up. F**king bastard. He’s Georgian, this Georgian.
Lytvyn: Gongadze or what’s his identify?
Kuchma: Gongadze. Smartly, who’s financing him?
Lytvyn: Smartly, he actively cooperates with Moroz […]
Kuchma: Let’s haul him ahead of a pass judgement on, let the legal professionals care for him… Sure, sue? That’s what our Lawyer Basic’s workplace will have to do, proper?
Lytvyn: I believe we will have to order [Interior Minister] Kravchenko to make use of choice strategies.
Unknown: No, inform Kravchenko to speak to me. […]
Kuchma: Smartly, are there any f**king measures taken towards him, this f**king c***t.
Lytvyn: He will have to now…
Kuchma: Deport him, deport him to f**king Georgia and throw him the f**ok out. Take him to Georgia and eliminate him there.
Lytvyn: I’ve already mentioned this with anyone.
Kuchma: Chechens need to kidnap him and insist a ransom…
Unknown: Exactly, that’s what we will have to do.
A recording of Kuchma’s dialog with Inner Minister Kravchenko, July 3, 2000
Kuchma: Earlier than I omit. There’s Gongadze.
Kravchenko: I needless to say identify.
Kuchma: Smartly, he’s a f**king scumbag of the absolute best order.
Kravchenko: Gongadze? He’s already on our radar.
Kuchma: So, he writes at all times for Ukrayinska Pravda – and he fills the web. Do you realize?
Kuchma: Smartly, who precisely budget him?
Kravchenko: Danilovych [Kuchma], neatly, I do know what to do…
Kuchma: And the primary factor is that he, I say, neatly now not me, however Volodya [Lytvyn] says, we want the Chechens to kidnap him and smuggle him to Chechnya. What the f**ok. And feature them ask for a ransom.
Kravchenko: Smartly, we’ve him someplace… I’ll let you know: we’ve nice individuals who will kind it out, nonetheless no – does he now not cross any place…
Kuchma: Smartly, will have to he be deported to Georgia and left there?
Kravchenko: Sure I can determine it out, I can determine it out.
Kuchma: […] And Gongadze, excluding the truth that he cooperates with Moroz, he writes for Moroz in his Hrania newspaper… All of them… finance him… Brodsky…
Kravchenko: Smartly, he’s the sort of sh*t media whore that would neatly be the case. I wouldn’t be shocked if he has connections with socialists as neatly, that’s what… Danilovych, neatly we’ll care for him right here, I believe it’s…
Kuchma: And Brodsky is Medvedchuk’s and Surkis’ [nicknamed ‘Kyiv’s Surkis and Co’ after two oligarch brothers], extra Surkis’ in reality.
Kravchenko: Smartly, it’s one hundred pc positive that they’re attached.
Kuchma: No, so now they… I have in mind the combat for possession of the Kyiv newspaper. Surkis – I used to be directly to that f**king Jew… I simply learn a few of their conversations.
Recorded dialog between Leonid Kuchma and Head of the SBU Derkach, July 3, 2000
Kuchma: Hi to you! How did you in finding out? I simply learn it, so Ukrayinska Pravda…
Derkach: Ah! It’s that son of a whinge… We’re paying attention to him on all channels, we known all his connections and he went to Moroz simply now.
Kuchma: I additionally heard that he used to be with Moroz.
Recording of Kuchma’s dialog with Inner Minister Kravchenko, July 10, 2000
Kuchma: Let’s now not omit about this Georgian…
Kravchenko: Sure, we’re running on it. I imply…
Kuchma: I say: eliminate him, kidnap him, give him to the Chechens, allow them to call for ransom.
Kravchenko: We will be able to suppose it over. We will be able to care for it in the easiest way conceivable.
Kuchma: Or take him there, take his garments off, depart him with out his f**king pants, and let him take a seat there, asshole.
Kravchenko: We will be able to do…
Kuchma: He’s only a f**king asshole…
Kravchenko: My staff reported to me lately, we’re putting in surveillance of him. We shadow the place he is going, how he travels. We need to find out about him just a little bit, just a little bit, after which we’ll do it. I’ve were given a unique ops staff in a position, they’ll do anything else you need, Danylovych, so there. […]
Recording of Leonid Kuchma’s dialog with Inner Minister Kravchenko, August 30, 2000
Kravchenko: For 3 days I’ve been feeling like loss of life. My elbow additionally hurts. I should have one thing with my joints. Leonid, what’s new. So…
Kuchma: Is Gongadze f**king handled?
Kravchenko: The day after the next day to come, the day after the next day to come. We were given [one word unintelligible] there lately.
Kuchma: Are they looking at [Rada deputy Sergey] Golovaty?
Kravchenko: Sure, they’re! They came upon about two or 3 of his friends. I need to punch him at the… So they discovered two dachas, the place they… Two guys are looking at him. I simply need to confront him, head-on, that’s the easiest way, after which… The entire issues they’ve been recommended to do, it’s getting effects. Smartly, I believe that Gongadze’s… Smartly, we’ll see the way it pans out. I checked out his fabrics on the web. That’s him.
Recording of the dialog between Kuchma and Inner Minister Kravchenko, 9-11, 2000
Kuchma: How are you? Please. In order that I don’t omit. Gongadze simply helps to keep sporting on.
Kravchenko: Sure, I’m acutely aware of it. We made a mistake there.
Kuchma: There’s a staff, headed by means of – he instructed me his identify…
Kravchenko: So [Gongadze] complained to the Lawyer Basic. However I believe…
Kravchenko: He did. I tousled just a little right here. However I’m simply seeing the way it spun out of keep an eye on. I blame it at the Deputy Leader of the Kyiv police, Opanasenko. Smartly, that Opanasenko… Smartly I’ve a gaggle there – in jail, proper? Opanasenko began looking for out thru his personal other people what sort of automobiles they use, and he wrote to [Attorney General] Potebenko.
Kuchma: Who? Opanasenko?
Kravchenko: No, no – Gongadze. Smartly he revealed quantity plates that had been already withdrawn a 12 months in the past. I’m converting my techniques just a little, as a result of I simply need, that’s why I need to take away this Opanasenko. I had my doubts when I used to be instructed over there, in Kyrgyzstan, that Opanasenko used to be eager about those quantity plates. So I stated: “Don’t do anything else.” Once I were given there, they stated there used to be a grievance. I can repair it, Leonid. I’ll repair it! I simply don’t need it to move improper… However it’s going to be achieved. He writes that it “could also be retaliation for his writing”. He’s the sort of…
Kuchma: However he writes such shit within the Russian media…
Kravchenko: On the web?
Kuchma: To not the web, however the day before today in Russia… […]
Kravchenko: I’m now not letting Gongadze off the hook, as a result of for me this factor is already too… There are contacts in his staff. I’ve additionally arrange out of doors surveillance on him now. I need to glance into his contacts, what it’s…
Kuchma: And Gongadze has a staff, thirty or so, writing this shit.
Kravchenko: No, 3 other people. I do know who they’re. I’ve all in their names. However I would like first of all him. Smartly, I’ll nonetheless see how the Lawyer Basic responds. They’re getting jittery, so I don’t know.
Kuchma: Smartly, does the Lawyer Basic have to do this for each c***t?
Kravchenko: Smartly, it’s a criminal grievance.
Kuchma: So what – it is only a grievance.
Kravchenko: Smartly, I’ll see how they’ll react.
Kuchma: Why does each shithead write to the Lawyer Basic?
For all of the accusations towards President Kuchma made within the Verkhovna Rada by means of Moroz, it will have to be identified that the tapes themselves don’t unambiguously turn out that President Kuchma gave the order to kill Georgiy Gongadze. It’s not possible to conclude with simple task from the recordings that Kuchma used to be interested in the real homicide. Virtually all of the recordings within the workplace of the Ukrainian President had been of extraordinarily deficient high quality and needed to be deciphered by means of consultants, and in spite of the efforts made, many texts may now not be transcribed. The incompleteness of words and now not at all times transparent which means isn’t because of mistranslation from Ukrainian or “surzhyk” (a mix of Russian and Ukrainian), the language utilized in Kuchma’s workplace, however is, sadly, proof of the deficient stage of the unique recording.
Without a doubt, then again, Kuchma hated Gongadze and he did order his Inner Minister to bother the journalist. His inflammatory remarks may additionally had been perceived by means of subordinates as an unstated instruction to punish and even kill the dissident.24
However, with hindsight of the KGB’s try to seize the Ukraine Presidency similtaneously the Russian Presidency, every other level must be thought to be. Basic Marchuk instructed Melnychenko to wiretap Kuchma, but additionally instructed him to forestall in a while after the frame used to be discovered. In different phrases, Kuchma used to be being recorded precisely till sufficient compromising subject material were accumulated. After Gongadze’s homicide, the individuals who managed the recordings thought to be their paintings whole: Kuchma used to be tainted. One high-profile homicide used to be enough for his or her ends and so in October 2000, wiretapping of the Ukrainian President’s workplace used to be not wanted.
The remaining recorded conversations regarding Gongadze belonged to the duration when the journalist had already been abducted and murdered. The individuals who mentioned Gongadze in Kuchma’s workplace, together with Kuchma himself, Derkach, Kravchenko and others, didn’t seem to grasp that Gongadze used to be useless already. There is not any recommendation of this within the recordings made after September 16, 2000.25
Having been fed Gongadze’s articles, Kuchma obliged, then again, by means of raging on tape in regards to the journalist. The simultaneous disappearance (and homicide) of Gongadze and e-newsletter of the tapes ahead of the elections, created the easiest plank for ousting him thru blackmail.
As we all know, it didn’t paintings. Kuchma had no goal of yielding energy to the KGB and Marchuk. But if Gongadze’s frame used to be present in November 2000, the rustic used to be in a position to blow up. Public opinion firmly believed that the order to kidnap and brutally homicide Gongadze got here from Kuchma.
Gongadze’s identify used to be continuously in newspapers or on tv systems. Tens of hundreds of articles had been written. In December mass protests started, initiated by means of public figures in Ukraine who had been outraged by means of the lawlessness of its govt, hard the resignation of the President, the Inner Minister, the Lawyer Basic, and the Head of the SBU, in addition to an impartial skilled exam of the Gongadze case. The protesters advocated “converting the device of social, financial and political family members in Ukraine,” together with the removal of the device of “Presidential authoritarianism” and the transition to a parliamentary republic. The protest used to be supported by means of some 24 political events, public organizations and actions around the political divides.26 “Kuchmagate” controlled to unite into one bloc those that would another way be sworn enemies.
Gaining additional momentum, on January 30, 2001, the opposition started a 2nd wave of anti-Kuchma demonstrations. A tent town sprang up in Kyiv on Khreshchatyk Road – town government had began restore works on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Sq.) for the anniversary of Ukraine’s independence and the place the unique tent town were arrange. On February 6, the hole day of the brand new parliamentary consultation, the opposition arranged an indication within the middle of Kyiv beneath the slogan “Ukraine with out Kuchma”.
In reaction, Kuchma’s govt went at the offensive. The tent town used to be attacked by means of the police; Yulia Tymoshenko used to be arrested on February 13; and at the similar day a “three-way letter” used to be revealed – signed President Kuchma, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Ivan Plyusch and Ukrainian High Minister Yushchenko – by which they condemned the protesters’ movements and branded them fascists. Yushchenko, after all, had no concept that someday later he himself, together with a few of these “fascists,” must lead the opposition motion and overthrow the Kuchma regime. On the finish of February, beneath public drive, the Lawyer Basic’s Administrative center used to be pressured to recognise Gongadze’s loss of life and open a felony case investigating “premeditated homicide”.
Kuchma stated on February 19 that he used to be in a position to swear at the Bible and the Charter of Ukraine that he didn’t give an order to kill Gongadze. In the beginning of March, the tent camp on Khreshchatyk Road used to be demolished by means of the police. On March 6, 2001, the Trudova Ukraina (Hard work Ukraine) birthday celebration, led by means of Serhiy Tihipko, a detailed affiliate of the Kuchma circle of relatives and Kuchma’s son-in-law Viktor Pinchuk, employed US company Kroll Advisory to habits an “goal” investigation into the homicide and the allegations that Gongadze used to be killed by means of order of the Ukrainian President and that he used to be come what may concerned within the homicide. Kroll’s mavens (as anticipated) concluded that there have been no grounds for the allegations.27
On March 9, there have been renewed clashes with the police close to the Presidential palace, greater than 200 other people had been arrested, and about fifty28 had been convicted of organizing mass disturbances. Regardless of this, then again, new tent towns had been arrange in no less than 15 areas, which changed into the focal point of protests towards the prevailing regime. In lots of towns, governors and mayors arranged retaliatory rallies in fortify of Kuchma, however this didn’t deflate the overall anti-Kuchma spirit of the protest motion.
In parallel, the reliable investigation into Gongadze’s homicide persisted. Kuchma introduced that he used to be hanging the Gongadze case beneath his non-public supervision. On the similar time, the Lawyer Basic’s Administrative center attempted to deceive the general public by means of claiming that the homicide were dedicated “out of hooliganism” by means of two criminals who had died in December 2000. No person believed this, then again. Knowledge emerged in regards to the involvement of Inner Ministry officials that, interchangeably, both showed or disproved by means of the investigation.
In any case, on October 22, 2003, Lawyer Basic Svyatoslav Piskun signed an arrest warrant for Basic Olexiy Pukach, the Head of Surveillance of the Inner Ministry, whose officials were monitoring Gongadze. On the other hand, Kuchma didn’t like this display of “independence” by means of the Lawyer Basic. On October 28, he made up our minds to push aside Piskun, and on November 18, the Lawyer Basic used to be fired at the side of his deputy. The investigative staff in control of the Gongadze case used to be re-organized, and the arrested Basic Pukach used to be launched on November 5 (he can be re-arrested on March 1, 2005).
In June 2004, the British newspaper The Impartial revealed the fabrics of the investigation, which contained the testimony of Lieutenant Colonel Igor Goncharov, deputy head of the Division for Preventing Arranged Crime of the Kyiv area, arrested in Would possibly 2003 on fees of murdering 11 other people. He died both from poisoning or from a blow to the pinnacle in custody on August 1, 2003. Goncharov claimed that Gongadze’s abduction and homicide had been performed by means of gang individuals at the orders of the Ukrainian Inner Ministry, this is, at the orders of Inner Minister Yuri Kravchenko, performing on behalf of President Kuchma. Goncharov referred to as his colleague, police officer Yuri Nesterov, an instantaneous player within the homicide. For his phase, Nesterov instructed that Gongadze’s homicide used to be a conspiracy by means of the Russian secret products and services and that Lieutenant Colonel Goncharov himself took phase on this Russian conspiracy aimed toward “killing Gongadze and laying the blame for it on Ukrainian President Kuchma”.
On Would possibly 22, 2005, Nesterov gave an interview in this system “Closed Zone” with host Vladimir Aryev the place he claimed with out offering proof that Goncharov used to be in reality an FSB agent and that he cooperated with Basic Marchuk. He additionally claimed with out proof that Goncharov had Melnychenko’s tapes in his ownership even ahead of they had been made public by means of Moroz on November 28, 2000.
On March 1, 2005, the brand new President, Viktor Yushchenko, who got here to energy because of the Orange Revolution that broke out partially as a result of the Gongadze homicide, introduced that the journalist’s killers were known. Tomorrow, Svyatoslav Piskun, who were reinstated as Lawyer Basic, offered the general public with all of the to be had details about Gongadze’s homicide. He stated that 4 cops took phase within the homicide, two of whom had already been arrested, one used to be in hiding and one used to be a witness. Piskun stated that he knew the names of those that ordered the killing however may now not identify them but.
It additionally changed into public wisdom that one of the most suspects summoned to the Lawyer Basic’s Administrative center used to be former Inner Minister Yuriy Kravchenko. His interrogation used to be scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 4. It by no means happened. 3 hours previous Kravchenko used to be discovered useless with two bullet pictures to the pinnacle. Consistent with Deputy Lawyer Basic Viktor Shokin it used to be suicide, in spite of the truth that there have been two pictures. He left, then again, a suicide word: “My dearly loved. It’s not that i am responsible of anything else. Forgive me. I changed into a sufferer of the political intrigues of President Kuchma and his entourage. I depart with a transparent sense of right and wrong. Farewell.” Inner Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, however believed that his successor were assassinated.
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Creator: Kyle Stewart