DONETSK, November 17. /TASS/. Leaders of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine describe the decision of Ukraine’s central authorities to stop paying pensions in the region as a “war crime.”
“By cancelling pensions for elderly people and thus condemning them to an existence of hunger, the Ukrainian authorities commit a war crime," Vice-Speaker of the DPR People’s Council (parliament) Denis Pushilin said, adding that "Ukraine does not only refuse to pay pensions, but also hampers us.”
The republic has to form a pension fund not from a zero, but from a negative balance, as there is no list of pensioners and no access to the computer database, he said. “However, the formation of the republic’s pension system is in the most active phase,” Pushilin added.
A week earlier, the DPR’s Vice-Premier Andrey Purgin said Kiev’s refusal to transfer local taxes to Donbass (eastern Ukraine) and to pay social benefits was “a law violation.”
On November 5, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Kiev did not intend to transfer money to Donbass for social payments to residents in the DPR and the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) who were not re-registered in cities controlled by the Ukrainian authorities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Activists of Donbass public organizations have published an address to Ukrainian leaders, demanding to reverse the decision.