Friday, January 21, 2005


Peter Byrne at Abdymok presents an article on Ukraine's SBU which suggests that the NY Times report by C. J. Chivers may not have been too far off the mark after all. But the whole affair seems to be shrouded in the usual murk:

In what appears to be an oddly connected story, the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune on Jan. 17 ran a 3,800-word feature about the allegedly heroic roles played by Smeshko, Galaka and Sarnatsky in preventing Interior Ministry troops from storming Independence Square during protests on Nov. 28.

Serhiy Popkov, the commander of troops from Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, dismissed the charge. He responded curtly in an interview with the national daily tabloid Segodnya on Jan. 18 saying he was "surprised" by the NYT’s interpretation of the events, insisting that the so-called deployment was merely as a drill.

According to SBU spokeswoman Marina Ostapenko, the version told to the NYT by her bosses was accurate, if not exaggerated.

“No big mistakes in the article, just a tad too melodramatic,” she said.

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