Oksana Balinskaya, a Ukranian nurse who used to work for Muammar Qaddafi, gave an interview to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, appearing in the paper today. The interview is in Russian, but it's been excerpted in a few English-language newspapers. Glimpses into Qaddafi's private life are nothing new at this point, but they're still oddly fascinating. What does Balinskaya have to say about the Libyan leader?
He's a pasta guy. "He likes couscous, which is served to him with camel meat or lamb," said Balinskaya, according to a translation at The Guardian. "And like all people in Libya, he loves Italian food, especially pasta."
He's generous with watches. Specifically, gold Italian watches with his picture on them, which he hands out to his staff every year on the anniversary of his taking power. Nor is his largess limited to timepieces: Balinskaya says that when the nurses would travel to New York, Qaddafi would give them some cash to go "run around the local boutiques."
He's in awesome shape. "Anyone would be lucky to have [blood pressure] readings like Qaddafi," Balinskaya said, per a translation at The Daily Telegraph. Meanwhile, The Guardian has her saying that "despite his age, he's in better shape than a lot of people."
That voluptuous blond? Qaddafi totally wasn't involved with her. One of the more salacious rumors about Qaddafi is that one of his nurses is also his mistress--a "voluptuous blond" named Galyna Kolotnytska. According to Balinskaya, this is totally untrue: Kolotnytska speaks Arabic, and has worked with Qaddafi for eight years, but the two aren't an item. "What they are writing about Galyna Kolotnytska is made-up stories," she said.