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Commanders “thanked” soldier for honest service… having forgotten about him
Commanders “thanked” soldier for honest service… having forgotten about him Photo by Natalia Bimbirayte, IRC "Legal Space"

Valery Holodnyak, resident of Golopristansky district in Kherson region fails to issue the ATO combatant status for several months. The reason is the military units where he served do not send necessary references. They were not done in time, and now the soldier feels like everyone just forgot about him.

Valery was called up to the army on August 21, 2014. Though the man is 50, the medical commission recognized him healthy. But in a month of service, after active training and retraining Valery felt severe pain in his knees and back. He was told to visit the Odessa military hospital for passing MMC (the military medical commission). The commission recognized Valery restrictedly fit for military service. The conclusion from the surgeon and traumatologist: the man has osteochondrosis and arthrosis.

But despite of this document Valery was returned to ATO zone. From February to July, 2015 Valery served in the city of Popasna in Luhansk region. Hard work in the kitchen, then serving as a shooter, living in cold cellars and blindages… Valery suffered severe pain, but the command did not react to his complaints.

On July 29, 2015 during a strong attack there was an accident. When falling into the entrenchment Valery broke his hand and injured the back. He was evacuated to the hospital in Mykolaiv.

However, MMC did not connect the trauma with the service, as the military unit did not carry out investigation and did not submitted to the commission the certificate of circumstances of the trauma.

On September 25 Valery was demobilized. And again due to the lack of all documents the man can't already issue the ATO combatant status, correspondingly, he has no chance to receive disposable benefit for injury of the hand, free treatment and unemployment compensation. His family remained in private with problems. Employees of the military registration and enlistment office where he asked for help appeared absolutely helpless, complaining about ignoring by military units their inquiries.

Valery addressed in despair a lawyer of Kherson regional charity and health foundation Volodymyr Orlovsky. The lawyer examined the facts of the case and together with Valery determined further actions. First, they should receive necessary references from military units to register the ATO combatant status. Secondly, to get the income certificate to register unemployment compensation. Thirdly, to force the unit to conduct investigation of circumstances of receiving by Valery the trauma.

Now the lawyer Volodymyr Orlovsky addressed partners from the Legal Hundred with the request for their members in Artemivsk to affect representatives of the military unit. Valery submitted the complaint to the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. He expects the answer for more than three weeks.

Valery is struck most of all by his commanders’ attitudes. After all he honestly served, did not leave the unit, performed all tasks despite of severe pain. As a result he “deserved” extremely offensive ignoring.

Editorial staff of IRC "Legal Space" will follow developments and inform readers on Valery’s case.

Network of Community Law Centers works in partnership with Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation together with Coordinating Center for Legal Aid Providing of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine with the financial support of International Renaissance Foundation.

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