No benefits for Chernobyl disaster fighters
The new law on social security for Chernobyl disaster fighters appears to be a mere compilation of previous legislative acts.
On 14 January president Lukashenka approved the law ‘On the social protection of the Chernobyl disaster victims and other nuclear accidents’. The act is ‘to secure adequate level of social protection for the Chernobyl disaster victims’. However, the ‘adequate level’ lacks free public transport travel and other benefits lifted by the president’s decree in late 2007.
Uladzimir Kudzin, head of the Emergency Situations Ministry’s department for recovery of the Chernobyl disaster damage, says there will be no benefits regained. ‘The new law features all the existing benefits provided by the law ‘On social benefits and safeguards for certain groups of citizens’ active since 2007,’ said Kudzin.
It was this very law that lifted numerous social benefits for a vast number of social groups.
Mr.Kudzin emphasized the fact that the new law provides for social protection for both Chernobyl victims and those who suffered from other nuclear accidents. The actual amount of social security will be revealed in practice. Still, it does not feature any new benefits whatsoever.
Uladzimir Kamiankou, head of the Disabled of Chernobyl public association, says the new law is just a compilation of older provisions.
Henadz Hrushavy, head of the Children of Chernobyl foundation, says the state never gives back the lifted benefits to its citizens. ‘There are two reasons for that: firstly, the state has been trying to make people forget about the disaster, preparing Belarusian public opinion for the construction of a domestic nuclear power plant; and secondly, there simple are no sufficient resources for any sensible social programme at present.’