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The Interdepartmental Commission for Establishing the Injury or Other Damage to Health Received from Explosives, Ammunition and Military Weapons on the Territory of the Anti-Terrorist Operation* has been holding its meetings since December 2018. 

During this time, despite lots of obstacles and all sorts of incidents, this commission considered 148 applications, made 134 positive decisions and 12 refusals. Some of the applications were postponed due to the missing documents.

The obvious positive moment in terms of the effectiveness of this structure is the presence of the representatives of non-governmental organizations in the commission – those who on a daily basis take care of the issues of people, affected by an armed conflict in the east of Ukraine. 

Activists know very well not the factual but the “human” side of the issues. As a member of this commission, I approach the consideration of each case with full responsibility, because I understand that all of this is not about dry facts and stacks of papers, but about the lives and fates of Ukrainians.

I still remember one of the cases. The guardian appealed to the commission in favor of her granddaughter. An excerpt from the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations (an extract) concerning the case stated: “during the shelling the bomb hit the school, citizen XXX was injured, 2 people died.” But then you read and understand that those two dead people were the girl’s mother and her brother… 

That is why the documents were submitted by the guardian. And at this moment you feel like you’re among the ruins of this school…

You realize how many lives and destinies this war has destroyed. The only thing you can do to help them now is to read these documents carefully and fight for each of those who asked for help.

I also remember another meeting of the commission when the application of a couple was considered. It was already clear that they would be refused as it was not possible to establish in which location the injury occurred**.

Following the monitoring of this situation, the media managed to find out that the couple was injured during the evacuation from the village where they lived. Illegal armed groups occupied the village, but gave the opportunity to leave to those who do not want to stay. The couple and several other people got into a car and headed towards the controlled area, but it turned out that this was not a gesture of goodwill, but a trap: the car was mined. An explosion occurred as the car approached the Ukrainian military checkpoint.

I said this during a meeting of the Interdepartmental commission, and after a lively discussion it was decided to provide a positive decision on this matter, as the territory of the military checkpoint although not being included in the list of Government-Controlled Area settlements, is actually controlled by Ukraine.  

In fact, a precedent was set in the consideration of the cases and identical cases now receive positive decisions as well. Of course, it would have been great if our citizens did not find themselves in such dangerous and horrible situations, but, unfortunately, occupation and military conflict always goes hand in hand with casualties and losses. It is the duty of the state to provide social protection to the victims of this conflict. This protection is provided today by the Interdepartmental Commission. If you have an injury or disability, received during an armed conflict you surely must submit documents and application to the commission. And we will do our duty – will be fighting for everyone of you!

Анастасія Одінцова: про менторський досвід, навчання інших та маленькі кроки для великих змін Anastasia Odintsova tells about her mentoring experience, teaching others and small steps for big changes

Anastasia Odintsova

Advocacy Lawyer

Right to Protection CF

List of the documents needed to be collected before an application is available following this link

*The Commission acts on the basis of the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers № 306 from 04/25/2018 «Some issues concerning the establishment of the connection of a disability with the injuries or other damage to the health» 

**There is a discriminatory restriction on the territorial definition of this resolution. Until December 1, 2014 the status is granted if a wound was received in the area of Anti-Terrorist Operation, after December 1, 2014 only if the wound was received in the Government-Controlled Area or near the contact line.

UNHCR Ukraine

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