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Former Ukrainian Official Warns Of Government Corruption

5 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A former aide to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko today said that corruption among top government officials grew since the recent change of political leadership and warned about the dangers he said Ukraine is facing.

Former presidential chief of staff Oleksandr Zinchenko told reporters that several high-ranking officials -- whom he said are among the most corrupt members of Yushchenko's team -- are trying to subdue all branches of government.

"Having organized an information blockade around the president, having taken him to a virtual, unreal world, cynically distorting reality and true accents of life, [these people] are step by step carrying out their plan to maximally use government posts in order to increase their own capital, to privatize and get into their hands everything they can. Their goal is a monopoly on key government functions," Zinchenko said.

Among officials Zinchenko identified as being corrupt is Petro Poroshenko, the head of Ukraine's Defense and Security Council. Poroshenko attended Zinchenko's press briefing, but did not immediately react to the accusations.

Zinchenko stepped down on 3 September.

Separately, the head of Ukraine's National Television and Radio, Taras Stetskyv, handed over his resignation to the president today. The reasons for his decision remain unclear.

Yushchenko's spokeswoman Iryna Gerashchenko said the president would accept Stetskyv's resignation within a few days.

(Ukrayinska Pravda/Interfax-Ukraine/UNIAN/