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    UKRAINE * PRESIDENT * KRAVCHENKO * DENIAL

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    "ABSURD," SNAPS UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT AS SECRET SERVICE GENERAL ASSUMES VIPs SHADOWED KIEV, February 25, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Victor Demidenko) - Ukrainian parliamentarians and VIPs were shadowed while visiting Germany, alleges Major-General Valeri Kravchenko of the Security Service, formerly employed with the Ukrainian Embassy to Germany.

    Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma addressed a news conference in Kiev today on the occasion. Kravchenko denunciations are all a pack of lies, he said. If the officer wants to prove his point, he is free to publish anywhere he likes the documents he alleges to have, added the President.

    General Kravchenko appeared on the air in a Deutsche Welle radio cast, February 28, to say he had been ordered on repeated occasions to have opposition MPs and government functionaries from the ministerial rank up shadowed while in Germany. He possesses documentary proof, the interviewee ominously added.

    "Downright absurdity," Security Service spokesmen say about the maverick's denunciations. They suspect he wants to make money on his hoax after he lost a lucrative job abroad.

    General Kravchenko was dismissed for trespassing Ukrainian labour laws and non-compliance with ambassadorial regulations, says the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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