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'Little Fish,' 'The Mole,' 'The Healer: What Yanukovych's Guards Dubbed Top Officials

The list of nicknames
Among the treasure trove of Viktor Yanukovych-era documents currently being pored over by journalists and pro-Euromaidan activists is a list of nicknames the ousted Ukrainian president's security staff apparently gave to top officials and politicians.

The Russian-language list was posted online by the far-right youth group Right Sector.

Serhiy Arbuzov, then deputy prime minister, was dubbed "Little Fish." (Рыбка), while Andriy Klyuyev, latterly Yanukovych's chief of staff, got the JFK-style abbreviation "APK" (АПК).

Then Prosecutor-General Viktor Pshonka was 'Yekimov' (Екимов) and Oleksandr Yakimenko, head of the SBU security service, was dubbed "The Yakut." (Якут). Yakuts are a Turkic people indigenous to Russia's Far East.

Defense Minister Pavel Lebedev was "The Eagle" (Орел), while Vitaliy Zakharchenko, the interior minister reviled by the Euromaidan protesters for unleashing deadly force against them, earned the now ironic-sounding moniker "The Healer" (Знахарь).

VIktor Medvedchuk, the pro-Russian politician and businessman, was "Old Neighbor" (сосед старый), while then opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk was known as "New Neighbor" (сосед молодой) -- an apparent reference to the fact Yatsenyuk and Yanukovych both lived in the village of Novy Petrivtsy not far from Kyiv. (

Ex-SBU chief Ihor Kalinin was "Kyivstar" (Киевстар), while Oleksandr Lavrinovich, a former justice minister, was "The Mole" (Крот).

Party of Regions deputy Serhiy Kivalov and Serhiy Larin, Klyuyev's no. 2, got the more enigmatic "Radio Eye" (Радиоглаз) and "05."

The least colorful were saved for the UDO state guard service that apparently came up with the list of sobriquets -- "Kyiv" for the UDO's chief, '"Kyiv1" for his deputy.

-- Kathleen Moore

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