THE UKRANIAN NURSE who was referred to as a “voluptuous blonde” in a Wikileaks cable on Muammar Gaddafi has spoken about how her former boss was “obsessive” about his appearance – at times changing clothes several times a day.
Oksana Balinskaya, now 24, told Newsweek that her former patient had always been “more than generous” to her and her colleagues, though acknowledging that Gaddafi had only hired Ukranian nurses “most probably for our looks”.
But the image-obsessed leader – despite hiring so many medical staff – was apparently in relatively fine health, with the blood pressure and heart rate of “a much younger man”.
This may have been because of the quality of his nursing care, however: his nurses insisted that he wear gloves when visiting countries like Mali or Chad in order to ward off the possibility of picking up a tropical disease, and insisted that he take daily walks around his palace.
Among Gaddafi’s attributes mentioned by Balinskaya in her interview are that Gaddafi would regularly present his staff with gold watches featuring an image of his face – a gift that would “open any door [and] solve any problem” within the country.
Despite regular intimations that Gaddafi’s nurses were employed effectively as professional mistresses, however, Balinskaya insists that “none of us nurses was ever his lover”. The only time any of the women ever laid hands on him was to take his blood pressure, she said.
Gaddafi also still regularly listens to “Arab music on an old cassette player”, Balinskaya bizarrely added, before dropping perhaps the strangest revelation about Gaddafi so far:
When we drove around poor African countries he would fling money and candy out the widow of his armoured limousine to children who ran after our motorcade; he didn’t want them close for fear of catching diseases from them.