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Who will defend the rights of the parents of perished servicemen?

Inna Sukhorukova, Kharkov
On 20 January 2002 the conference of the union of the parents of servicemen perished in peaceful time (that is a section of the Kharkov oblast union of soldiers’ mothers) was held in Kharkov. This section is headed by L. Bykova, a co-chairman of the union of soldiers’ mothers. Our bulletin more than once wrote about how the state solves problems of the people, who lost their most precious treasure – their children. To be exact, we wrote about how the state appeared unable to solve these problems during the last decade. In 2001 the union of soldiers’ mothers distributed questionnaires among the perished servicemen’s parents to learn the number of such families, the circumstances of the servicemen’s death, availability and type of certificates given to the parents. Most of the parents are left to the mercy of fate… Misery privileges and additions to pensions obtained by a few parents cannot recompense in the least degree the moral and material damage inflicted by the death of their sons. Besides, these tiny payments were not given in cash, but transferred to the accounts of the state bank, which got bankrupt, so the parents cannot get a kopeck.

Ukraine does not have a law, which would stipulate social protection of the parents, whose children perished in the army in the peaceful time. The operating laws are so vague in this respect that the parents are divided into two categories: those, whose children perished during the execution of their service duties – they have some privileges, and those, whose children perished or died of diseases or committed suicides in the army -- they have no privileges at all. So the parents live, having lost their dearest sons, unneeded and unassisted by the state.

That is why so many people gathered at the mentioned conference. The conference hall was given by the Kharkov oblast branch of Rukh of Ukraine.

83 persons took part in the conference, who undersigned a letter to the President and the Supreme Rada. This letter contains demands to initiate the legislation aimed at the development and adoption of the special law concerning the parents of servicemen perished in the peaceful time (by the way, there is such a law in Russia).

The participants also turned to the city council and the oblast state administration with the demand to regulate the reception of the privileges by the parents, since the state officials in different districts of the city and oblast interpret the operating laws differently.
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