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Chernobyl cleanup veterans suspend hunger strike in Donetsk

December 12, 2011, 5:13 UTC+3
The decision was taken after the guarantees from the authorities, which pledged to pay the full pensions to the Chernobyl cleanup veterans for November and December 2011
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DONETSK, December 12 (Itar-Tass) —— The Chernobyl cleanup veterans decided Sunday to suspend a hunger strike, on which they went at the entrance to the Donetsk office of the Ukrainian Pension Fund since November 15. The decision was taken after the guarantees from the authorities, which pledged to pay the full pensions to the Chernobyl cleanup veterans for November and December 2011, a representative of the initiative group of the hunger strike Alexander Puchkov told reporters on Sunday.

However, the Chernobyl cleanup veterans had to suspend the hunger strike over the concerns for their camp to be shut down in downtown Donetsk. On Friday, the bailiffs informed the hunger strikers that the Donetsk regional court ruled they should remove the camp voluntarily by the noon on December 13. Meanwhile, the governmental resolution on a sharp rise in pensions to people affected in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, primarily to the Chernobyl cleanup veterans, was taken a week ago.

Similar small-scale, but broadly media covered protest actions of Chernobyl cleanup veterans, which disabled coalminers, persons born in the wartimes and other citizens entitled to benefits joined, are being held in several Ukrainian cities, including Kiev. Meanwhile, their main demand is not to keep the level of their pensions, but to fulfil the court rulings to repay the debts for their allowances. However, the payment of these allowances in five-digit and sometimes six-digit figures according to the court verdicts they attained is just impossible for Ukraine, because it will leave the Pension Fund absolutely without any assets.

 

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