Qaddafi nurse to flee Libya, return to Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine - Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi looks likely to be ditched by yet another close confidant - his Ukrainian nurse, who says she will flee the violence in the North African nation and return home.

Halyna Kolotnytska, 38, is joining senior government officials, diplomats and pilots who have deserted Gadhafi after he violently suppressed anti-government protests, according a local newspaper report.

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A U.S. diplomatic cable released late last year claimed the eccentric 68-year-old leader is deeply attached to Kolotnytska, one of four Ukrainian nurses that take care of him.

The cable published by WikiLeaks described her as a "voluptuous blonde" who always travels with Gadhafi as only she "knows his routine" and even suggested the two may be romantically involved.

The Segodnya daily cited Kolotnytska's daughter Tetyana as saying that her mother was out of danger and planned to return to Ukraine in the near future.

"She spoke in a calm voice, asked us not to worry, said she would be home soon," Tetyana Kolotnytska said of the phone conversation with her mother on Friday, according to the report released Saturday.

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No one picked up the phone at The daughter's apartment outside of Kiev on Sunday.

The paper said Kolotnytska moved to Libya nine years ago. She worked at a hospital before Qaddafi hired her.

"He is employing Ukrainian women as nurses. Mom is one of them," Tetyana was quoted as saying. "For some reason, he doesn't trust Libyan women with that."

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