Until recently the procedure of issuing certificates of combatants participating in ATO was too prolonged. ATO participants collected necessary papers and expected obtaining the document for months. Though receiving the status of ATO combatant remains rather difficult, defenders have the legitimate right to avoid red tape. In particular, since May 2015 the centralized submission of documents to military registration and enlistment offices is provided - for consideration by the relevant commissions created at them.
Reduction of terms of consideration of the question of granting the status of ATO combatant is regulated by the Order of the Ministry of Defense of May 07, 2015. According to it, the procedure of receiving the breastplate “The Veteran of War - the participant of combat operations” and coupons for the right of obtaining tickets with 50% discount is supposed to speed up as well.
Such changes are extremely urgent, considering that according to the Ministry of Defense for August 4, the status of ATO combatants was granted to 2015 67 697 combatants and workers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF). The number the Ministry reports about seems to be considerable; however, it is only about 35% of the total number of ATO participants. Such conclusions can be drawn, taking into account the data of human rights activists of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. For the beginning of May, 2015, only 20% of ATO combatants received the relevant status (39 000 persons). The lawyer of UHHRU Maksym Shcherbatiuk reported about it at the briefing in the UNIAN. At the same time he predicted: the number of recruits is growing, besides, the law allows granting the status to people who were in ATO zone for several hours. In other words, the number of ATO participants increase.
“Saving of time at the registration of the status first of all becomes possible thanks to that for its receiving all documents should be filed now in a centralized way, that is, according to the registration place on the military books, - the lawyer of the Community Law Center at the Chernihiv Public Committee for Human Rights Protection Natalia Piddubna explained. – The commissions on consideration of materials of recognition of ATO participants as participants of combat operations are created at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the UAF General Staff and commands of all types of UAF, regional and Kyiv city military registration and enlistment offices”.
Lawyer of the Community Law Center at the Chernihiv Public Committee for Human Rights Protection Natalia Piddubna. Photo by Anna Martyniuk.
Amendments to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ukraine of August 20, 2014 explain also who the procedure acceleration depends on. In order to grant the status of participants of combat operations to military personnel (reservists, persons liable for call-up) and UAF workers in time, commanders (chiefs) of military units (bodies, divisions) or other heads of establishments and institutions have to submit a package of documents to the commission for consideration within a month.
Professional free legal aid to ATO participants and their families, soldiers, people who were wounded or killed during service, captives can obtain help in such organizations:
Chuhuev city regional public organization “Chuhuev human rights group”
Address: 16-a Roza Lyuksemburg St., Chuhuev, Kharkiv region, 63503
Schedule: Mon-Fr from 10 to 16
Chernihiv public committee of human rights protection
Address: 57 Horkoho St., Chernihiv, 14000
Schedule: Mon, Wed, Fri from 10 to 16
Kherson regional Charity and health foundation
Address: 2 Frunze St., of. 2, Kherson, 73000
Schedule: Mon 10 to 15 (lunch break from 12 to 13)
Volyn regional public organization “Community Law Center”
Address: 14 Hrushevskoho St., Kovel, Volyn region, 45000
Schedule: Mon, Wed, Fri from 10 to 16
Bila Tserkva city public organization “Pravova yednist”
Address: 55 Levanevskoho St. (library #8), Bila Tserkva, Kyiv region, 09100
Schedule: Tue, Thu from 10 to 14
You can get legal consultations online on the “Legal Space” website
Network project “Increasing the level of legal protection of soldiers, ATO participants and members of their family via legal aid provision and conducting of monitorings” is financed by the International Renaissance Foundation.
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