The shaky situation happened at the bus station in Kyiv on Saturday, July 8, 2017. A driver of the Kiev-Kherson Intercity bus did not want to carry ATO participants with the privileged tickets and even began to swear: he called the soldiers "freebie lovers" and showed an obscene gesture. The ATO participant from Kyiv Serhii Pogulay posted this story on his Facebook page.
As Serhii told Legal Space, he was returning home along with two comrades. One of them is also am ATO member. They took tickets for the Kiev-Kherson intercity bus.
“On July 7 we took tickets at the bus station - two by the ATO combatant certificates, and one - in full, with the seats specified. We traveled to Kamyanets, Cherkasy region. It is about 250 kilometers from Kyiv. We arrived at the bus station, came to the bus, but a driver shouted: "There are no seats!” "We said:" Why? We have tickets!” "Come on, show tickets. And what is the cost for this?" We explained that we had bought them by the ATO combatant certificates. "Aaaaaaa - freebie lovers", he curled his lips. We started looking for our seats - there are no numbers. Many people, as it turned out, did not have tickets at all”.
According to Serhii, people without tickets occupied their seats. Serhii threatened the driver with the police. Eventually, two “illegal” passengers drove off the bus, and the driver moved.
The guy says he was trying to call the carrier whose number was indicated on the bus, but a fax was turned on at the other end of the wire. He did not know where to call the police, because the bus had already departed. So, after the trip, he wrote about the story with the driver-rude on his Facebook page.
Natalia Vozalovska, who heads Center for assistance to ATO participants in the Kherson region, learned from the social network about the incident with the driver:
“I called to the transport administration of the regional state administration. They responded very quickly. The carrier arrived. I personally talked to him. He told me that he had to kick people after such a scandal... We have such uncommon cases, but they happen. When an ATO participant takes a privilege ticket, and drivers force him to pay extra, or get out of the bus. They say that there are no places. Although sometimes they are half-empty”.
According to her, there is a real problem with interurban transportation. By law, ATO members have the right to take a privilege ticket, but the state does not compensate the carriers for this money. As for the Kherson region, considerable amounts are allocated for travel of privileged persons. However, not in each rayon. Some carriers say that they are not compensated by rayon councils, but they are also ready to carry ATO participants free of charge.
The rude driver was fired.
According to Natalia Vozalsovskaya, the Center often cooperates with IRC "Legal Space", lawyer of which help ATO participants in such situations.
What to do if an ATO participant is not allowed to take a bus with a privileged ticket, you can read on the advice of a lawyer of IRC "Legal Space" Serhii Plakhotniuk.
The Office of IRC "Legal Space" is located at the address: 2 Boris Mozolevsky st., of. 6, Kherson. Phone: 099 468 3848. ATO participants can apply for free legal aid to the offices of Legal Development Network, which operate throughout Ukraine. Contacts of the offices are here.