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    Chernobyl Unrest Over Pensions Continues


    by NTDTelevision

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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 Kie
    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.

    [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.

    [Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine President]:
    "In general, we will provide an increase of 20% for Social Security for the following year in the budget, which applies to the victims of Chernobyl and the Afghan veterans."

    Chernobyl clean-up survivors are protesting all over Ukraine.

    Last month the number of activities by people disaffected by the country's social policy increased.

    [Vitaliy Bala, Director, "Situations Modeling Agency"]:
    "During this whole situation, in my opinion, there is one very simple way - the government should really begin to have dialogue with its citizens. If that doesn't happen there will be problems."