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Beating the system: a veteran of the anti-terrorist operation got more than 100 thousand UAH aid for treatment
Beating the system: a veteran of the anti-terrorist operation got more than 100 thousand UAH aid for treatmentPhoto by volynnews.com

Even leading lawyers saw no positive prospects in this case. But a unique example of our protagonist proves that integrity and professionalism overcome barriers of bureaucracy. His story is a model for many soldiers who got the disease in ATO zone, but failed to get documentary evidence of this fact from the military-medical Commission and state financial assistance for treatment.

Having accidentally met with the lawyer at the doctor’s reception, a former soldier from Kherson got a chance to defend his rights and restore justice.

Dmytro Fomin* never complained about the pain in the heart. Having good health, the man came to the service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and became the Junior Sergeant, the guard battalion.

In June 2014, while on duty at a checkpoint Dmytro felt a strong pain in the chest, accompanied by sharp weakness. After being rendered first aid in the infirmary part the Junior Sergeant was sent to the Kherson military hospital, and later to the Military medical clinical center in Odesa.

After all examinations, the doctors diagnosed heart disease. Therefore, in August 2014, Dmytro was transferred to the reserve. But the military unit did not give information about the circumstances of the injury.

So, through the indifference of the military leadership, the man registered independently the III group of disability, spending his own funds treatment, and now he needs a prosthetic aortic valve of the heart.

In 2016 during the next hospital visit Dmytro met with the lawyer Aliona Shokareva, the head of the NGO Legal Initiatives and the participant of the first psychological and legal seminar in Nyzhni Sirohozy. In 2016, the team of IRC "Legal Space" and the Foundation "The Source of Life" held 11 seminars for the demobilized, the military family, civil servants, local activists and volunteers.

Therefore, she was unable to remain aloof from Dmytro’s problems.

"After hearing his story, I proposed to fix this complex case. Soon Dmytro called me and we met again. After examining the package of documents, it became clear to me that the man needs help to fight for justice," said Aliona Shokareva.

The first joint step was to appeal through the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the Kherson military registration and enlistment office to the military unit detailing all circumstances of the case and a request for money and the unpaid wages. The Ministry suggested Dmytro to apply to receive one-time financial assistance to the dismissed military men in connection with obtaining disability group.

The second step was a request to the Military Medical Commission in Odesa on granting the certificate about the soldier’s disease. However, it turned out that the Medical Commission established that the disease is not associated with the military service.

The reference of the Military Medical Commission. Photo by Aliona Shokareva.

Then the lawyer called the hotline of the IRC "Legal Space". After consulting by telephone with Volodymyr Orlovskyi, then still a lawyer's Office, Aliona Shokareva almost lost hope. Indeed, in practice such decisions are not canceled, you can only write a complaint to the Central Military Medical Commission or to go to court and prove the fact that the disease is associated with the military service.

Aliona Shokareva decided to address the Central Military Medical Commission in Kyiv with a petition about cancellation of the decision by the MMC in Odesa.

The petitioners were greatly surprised, when, soon received a letter from Kyiv, which said about establishing causation of disease and confirmed that the disease was associated with the military service!

“We went together with Dmytro to Kherson to the head physician of Kherson regional center of medical-social examination with the letter from Kiev and asked to change the cause of disability. And we again were lucky – the chief doctor and his Deputy granted our request".

Aliona Shokareva. Photo by the IRC "Legal Space".

Aliona Shokareva insisted on granting cash assistance from the state. They appealed to the Kherson regional military Commissariat with the request to pay an extraordinary one-time emergency financial assistance in connection with the establishment of the III group of disability.

Upon consideration of the application and its submission to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in December 2016 there was adopted the decision on the allocation to Dmytro Fomin of the aid in the amount of 101 500 UAH.

Letter of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Photo by Aliona Shokareva.

P.S. Field legal information seminars were held from February to June, 2016 by the team of the IRC "Legal Space" and the Foundation "The Source of Life" with the support of Program Initiative "Human Rights and Justice" of International Renaissance Foundation in the framework of the project "Promotion of social adaptation of the ATO participants and their families through the provision of psychological and legal aid".

The opinion of the International Renaissance Foundation cannot coincide with the point of view of authors of publication.

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