Political expert Vladimir Fesenko has wittily called Melnychenko a contemporary Ukrainian Khlestakov (literary figure of Gogol's novel Revisor. Basically means that everybody wants his own 15 minutes of fame). Any important statement is an attempt to turn attention to himself. If you hear the name Mykola Melnychenko, you should get ready for a fresh portion of pseudo exposes. It is not surprising that most people do not pay any serious attention to him. Yes, in its time the Melnychenko Tapes made a lot of racket in Ukrainian politics. And even though neither the ex-President Kuchma nor the Speaker Lytvyn or other influential politicians have been tried in court, in the eyes of the public they will always remain people with dubious human traits and criminal tendencies.
The time was passing and the people started forgetting the controversial major which probably hurt his ego. And then Melnychenko started exposing everyone and their brother making scandalous but unsupported statements. For instance in 2008 he said that an assassination of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko may be staged (suspecting Viktor Baloga in this); in 2009 he said that Lytvyn can easily become the next Ukrainian President; in 2010 he claimed that according to his information Putin will try to remove Yanukovych from power in 2012. There are too many examples of similar statements made by Melnychenko to even try to systemize them.
When he was recently released from an Italian prison (where, according to the former major he was sent with the help of the legendary Cosa Nostra) Mykola Melnychenko decided to get involved in the Scherban assassination case that is being heated by the AGO. On his Facebook page he wrote: "Lazarenko is called the contractor of the Shcherban assassination with one of the motives being control over Donetsk region. The organizer was Kushnir and the payment was conducted by Kirichenko and Tymoshenko… I know about the circumstances of this crime from the conversations I heard in Kuchma's office. The conversations were between Kuchma and then Attorney General Potebenko, Kuchma, Obihod, and others. I have recordings of these conversations."
Deputy Attorney General Renat Kuzmin already asked the United States to allow the AGO's representatives to question Pavlo Lazarenko and Mykola Melnychenko in the territory of the United States.
In his turn one of the opposition leaders Oleksandr Turchynov held a press conference where he stated that Melnychenko is not a serious witness since he started on the path of giving testimonies for money. He read a letter where the ex-major offered his services, particularly court testimony in exchange for money and a place in the election list. Also, Turchynov says that the AGO's use of such testimonies in Tymoshenko cases proves that they are being fabricated.
Another expose session from Melnychenko reminds a hasty improvisation. See for yourself. Until lately Melnychenko tirelessly branded Yanukovych and his regime. He wrote from a rough Italian prison: "Very soon after I am released the world will regretfully acknowledge that Ukraine is being ruled by thugs!" Instead he now claims that he allegedly has proof of Tymoshenko's involvement in assassination of Shcherban . BYuT deputy Roman Zabzaliuk explained the change: "Melnychenko wants to use this provocation as a revenge to the United opposition's refusal of his demands for money and election place." Melnychenko offered to hold a press conference in Warsaw or Brussels where he could make public a set of recordings proving the direct involvement in the Shcherban assassination of the President Viktor Yanukovych, Deputy Attorney General Renat Kuzmin and a line of other officials. "I have so much material that they will be swept away. I will publish the recordings where Azarov repeatedly warns Kuchma that Yanukovych is a gangster and they need to get rid of him since he is dangerous and he was involved in the assassination of Shcherban and others," Zabzaliuk cited Melnychenko.
However, the 'integrity' of Melnychenko is commonly known: at one point he tried to become a deputy from the Party of Regions, later in 2009 he approached Lytvyn's party demanding money in exchange for being quiet on Gongadze case. It is a systemic approach. But there are too many questions in this case. Shcherban was killed in 1996, the conversation proving Tymoshenko's involvement took place in 1999 and the Gongadze Gate (Tape Scandal) happened a year later. Why is it that a truth teller and exposer Melnichenko has been quiet for 12 years not even hinting at the hot information that he has? Why does his statement match the moment when the Attorney General's Office needs any evidence of Tymoshenko's involvement in the case? Finally, why Kuchma having this information on his hands did not do away with oppositionist Tymoshenko, and completely in accordance with the law at that. By the way, Kuchma has already admitted that he did not have sufficient proof of Tymoshenko's involvement. "If I had the evidence they would be made known to the whole world," noted the ex-President.
On the other hand it is strange that the AGO has paid attention to Melnychenko tapes at all. May be they forgot about one little detail. The thing is that in the end of 2011 the Pechersk court ruled that Melnychenko Tapes cannot be evidence in accusing Kuchma of the murder of Georgiy Gongadze. The decision stated: "Practically the only basis for the criminal case is the audio recordings made by Mykola Melnychenko… At the same time the prosecution's case cannot be based on evidence obtained illegally or by a person not authorized to conduct sweep operations." It is interesting how the tapes that cannot be evidence in one criminal case can suddenly become such in another. Though, the Pechersk court will make any decision regarding Melnychenko tapes and their interpretation if needed. There is also a question to the Party of Regions. In April 2011 the fraction leader Oleksandr Efremov stated: "We need to ask Melnychenko who was supposed to be keeping national secrets. He committed a crime. There shall be a criminal case regarding Melnychenko…" In regard to the unexpected circumstances it would be interesting to find out if the Regions' attitude to ex-major has not changed ot he is soon to be named a Hero of Ukraine?