In Interview, Gadhafi's Ukrainian Nurse Describes A 'Generous' Boss : The Two-Way The Libyan leader's former nurse said Gadhafi would give his staff gold watches every year on the anniversary of the day he took power.
NPR logo In Interview, Gadhafi's Ukrainian Nurse Describes A 'Generous' Boss

In Interview, Gadhafi's Ukrainian Nurse Describes A 'Generous' Boss

In one of the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, Gene Cretz, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, describes Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's reliance on a "voluptuous blond" Ukrainian nurse.

The documents revealed that Gadhafi didn't travel anywhere without Galyna Kolotnytska and that rumors were that she and Gadhafi were lovers. Citing a Ukrainian official, Cretz writes, Gadhafi relied on more than one nurse.

Today, one of those nurses, Oksana Balinskaya, gave an interview to the Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda in which she denied that Gadhafi had an affair with Koloynytska.

She also describes Gadhafi as a generous boss. The full interview is here linked via Google translate. According to The Guardian's translation of the interview, Balinskaya says that every year on the day Gadhafi took power, he would give his employees gold watches with his image on them. The Guardian reports:

"We had no complaints," she said. "When [we] were in New York, for example, Papa gave a personal order to give us some money so we could run around the local boutiques."


Balinskaya also rubbished speculation that the Libyan leader is "not entirely well" – another claim made in a WikiLeaks cable. "Despite his age, he's in better shape than a lot of people," she said. "He looks after his health and has a check-up every year. As for his [blood] pressure, if only everyone could have that level."