Cassette Scandal

The Cassette Scandal (Ukrainian: Касетний скандал), also known as Tapegate or Kuchmagate occurred in 2000 whereby Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma was caught on tape ordering the kidnap of a journalist. This was one of the main political events in Ukraine's post-independence history. It has dramatically affected the country's domestic and foreign policy, changing Ukraine's orientation at the time from Russia to the West and damaging Kuchma's career.

The scandal started on 28 November 2000, in Kyiv, when Ukrainian politician Oleksandr Moroz publicly accused President Kuchma of involvement in the abduction of journalist Georgiy Gongadze and numerous other crimes. Moroz named Kuchma's former bodyguard, Major Mykola Melnychenko, as the source. He also played selected recordings of the President's secret conversations for journalists, supposedly confirming Kuchma's order to kidnap Gongadze. That and hundreds of other conversations were later published worldwide by Melnychenko.

Journalists nicknamed the case after the compact audio cassette used by Moroz. Melnychenko himself was supposedly using digital equipment, not cassettes, for recording in the President's office.