Chernobyl Unrest Over Pensions Continues

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Thousands of Chernobyl accident liquidators, Afghan war veterans and opposition members stage another protest at the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers. They're calling for increased social security benefits.

On Tuesday, several thousand of the liquidators of the Chernobyl accident, Afghan war veterans and representatives from the opposition picketed the Cabinet of Ministers in Kiev.

Their requirements are unchanged - to increase pensions.

Alla Volozheninova has worked at the station since the early days of the disaster.

Most recently, she received a pension of 7100 hryvnia - almost $900 - which is four-and-a-half times less than what she has been receiving.

[Alla Volozheninova, Protestor]:
"When we got our pension in October, we felt that we are dirt under the feet of our officials."

Today's action is also devoted to disabled miner Gennady Konopleeu who died 2 days ago in Donetsk.

He went out to protest against the abolition of privileges.

On Sunday, a tent camp of hungry liquidators of the Chernobyl accident was dismantled by security forces.

Konopleeu's heart could not cope with the stress - he died on the way to the hospital.

When talking about it, the heart of Chernobyl invalid Nikolai Semenchuk aches as well.

He rarely leaves his home, but this time he joined the protesters.

[Nicholas Semenchuk, Protester]:
"This government is completely brazen. If it even walked around the disabled - sorry, that kind of control needed to be driven away. We have been out of politics, but we were forced to protest."

The government explained there were not enough funds in the budget to pay for all social pensions.

But president Victor Yanukovich has promised to increase the benefits of preferential categories...

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