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Gadhafi Nurse: Generous To Her, 'Like Stalin' To His People

"Papik," the nickname his nurses use for Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, "was always more than generous to us," 24-year-old Oksana Balinskaya writes for Newsweek.

But in the three years when she was among the Ukrainian women who tended to Gadhafi's medical needs she came to believe, Balinskaya says, "that at least half the population of Libya disliked Papik. ... It was obvious that Papik made all the decisions in his country. He is like Stalin; he has all the power and all the luxury, all for himself."

She also writes it is "nonsense" to say the nurses were Gadhafi's harem. "None of us nurses was ever his lover; the only time we ever touched him was to take his blood pressure."

Last week, the Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda quoted Balinskaya as saying Gadhafi gave his employees gold watches every year — with his image on them.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.