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Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko

Falls ill after Secret Service dinner

6 Sep, 2004

Yushchenko falls ill after a dinner with Igor Smeshko, the head of Ukrainian security service SBU, the successor to the KGB, to discuss how the SBU will act during the upcoming electoral campaign. Also present at the dinner at Smeshko’s dacha is his deputy Volodymyr Stasiuk, reportedly a confidant of outgoing president Leonid Kuchma. His body breaks down over the next few days into an almost total state of collapse with grogginess, chronic abdominal pain, and swelling in his liver, pancreas and intestines. His wife, Kateryna:

I thought there was something different about my husband when he came home that night – because he has never taken any medicine, he’s a very healthy man. And I tasted some medicine on his breath, on his lips. And I asked him about it, he brushed it away, saying there is nothing.