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FORMER UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL BODYGUARD APPEALS TO PUTIN OVER STATE SECRETS. Mykola Melnychenko has appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to take measures to prevent the release of Russia's state secrets, Ukrainian media reported on 4 May. Melnychenko wrote in an open letter that he is expected to testify to the U.S. Justice Department on 9 May. Melnychenko added that the tapes he made secretly in Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's office contain Kuchma's conversations with former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Putin and are related to Russian state secrets. Melnychenko asked the Russian authorities to officially raise the issue with U.S. law enforcement officials to let him preserve the secrets during his testimony. Melnychenko filed a similar request with the Ukrainian authorities in 2001 but has received no answer. Kyiv officially denies that Melnychenko's recordings are factual. JM