Kharkiv Chornobyl clean-up workers begin indefinite protest
From an earlier demonstration in Kharkiv (January 2012)
Several hundred people who took part in the clean up after the Chornobyl Nuclear Disaster in 1986 have declared an indefinite protest action in Kharkiv. They came out onto Freedom Square on Tuesday and plan to hold 2-hour protests each day.
Volodymyr Proskurin from the All-Ukrainian Association of Chornobyl Veterans told Radio Svoboda that the protest on Tuesday was attended by around 300 former clean up workers. They held banners demanding implementation of the law on victims of the Chornobyl Disaster and withdrawal of the draft Social Code of Ukraine.
He stressed that people are demanding that the government pay pensions as per the Law on the Status and Social Defence of People who Suffered as a Result of the Chornobyl Catastrophe.
“Our demands are the same as they were last year: that the provisions of current legislation are implemented fully. Chornobyl clean-up workers now receive much smaller pensions than set down in the law. They are ignoring the law, as well as court rulings”.
A new demand has been added, this being to withdraw a draft Social Code which has been registered in the Verkhovna Rada.
“In this draft social code they’ve mechanically combined several laws and removed from them what is inconvenient for the government and taken what suits the government. Parliament is planning to vote for that version.”
Mr Proskurin said that the Chornobyl clean-up workers would be holding a protest from 10 a.m. until their demands are met.