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KIEV, May 5. /TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities have deprived WWII veterans of financial assistance ahead of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, Opposition Bloc deputy Yuriy Pavlenko said on Tuesday.
"The current authorities have shamelessly robbed veterans in the year of the 70th anniversary of the Victory," he said on ERA TV Channel.
"They [the Ukrainian authorities] took away the 5 million hryvnias [$240,000] that was stipulated for financial aid to veteran organizations. They didn’t allocate money for veterans to visit the graves of their dead comrades and lay flowers at remembrance places," the opposition deputy said.
"The country’s leadership has cynically deprived the veterans of allowances, reduced the financing of veteran organizations and levied taxes on pensions," the lawmaker said.
The Ukrainian authorities have also deprived the WWII veterans of privileges for free medicines and the privileges for a 50% discount in the payment of housing and utility bills, stopped indexing pensions and other social benefits, Pavlenko said.
In particular, the Ukrainian authorities have canceled a bill on reducing the price of medications to treat hypertension, affecting "12 million our citizens and nine out of every ten veterans," Pavlenko said.
In response to the Ukrainian authorities’ actions, Ukraine’s Opposition Bloc has registered bills in the national parliament to cancel the tax on veterans’ pensions and exempt combat participants and disabled veterans of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 against Nazi Germany from income tax and a military levy on their pensions, the lawmaker said.
Ukraine’s Opposition Bloc demands that the national parliament should immediately consider the bills and cancel the taxation of pensions of WWII participants and return them all the privileges, to which they are entitled, Pavlenko said.