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Ukraine's parliament considering law on rehabilitation of Donbas war participants

Author : Valeriy Karpuntsov

The problems faced by the military, who return from a war zone to peaceful territories is very topical in Ukraine
18:20, 23 November 2018

Ministry of Defence of Ukraine

The bill number 8093 "On Military Consulting" has been prepared by a group of MPs with the active participation of experts in the military industry, commanders of volunteer battalions, and direct participants of the anti-terrorist operation (Joint Forces Operation, JFO).

Unfortunately, those who consider the bill in the committees and discuss in the hall of the Verkhovna Rada, obviously, do not find it important, and therefore the document has not yet been considered even by the relevant committee. As for me, this position is erroneous and might lead to disastrous consequences.

Related: Ukraine demands dissolution of all 'authorities' in occupied Donbas

Let me remind you that in more than four years of Donbas conflict more than 300 thousand Ukrainians became participants of the war, that is, a lot of people, who saw the blood, the death, Saur-Mohyla, Ilovaisk, Debaltseve, and other hot spots, have returned to a peaceful part of the country.

Today they live among us. We respect them, but, unfortunately, we do nothing for them. This terrible conflict between a front-line and peaceful way of life breaks many strong men. They feel a strong contrast between what they have experienced in the hostility zone, constantly being a step away from death, and the life in the peaceful parts of their motherland.

The main message of the mentioned bill is to give these people a real opportunity to find themselves in a peaceful life and not to follow the wrong path. Recently, our media used to publish inconvenient stories about former Donbas war participants, veterans, who were previously known for their heroic deeds. And today they are involved in raider attacks, illegal pressure against someone’s business, etc.

By the way, during the time that has passed since the submission of the bill to the Verkhovna Rada, we have witnessed a number of new crimes, the “heroes” of which were members of the volunteer movement and former soldiers of the Armed Forces. These are, for example, attacks against social activists, who often end in tragedy. Victims receive serious injuries or die, and performers are imprisoned. Why does it happen? Those who defend their native land do not see another opportunity to realize them.

Related: Visually impaired volunteer makes 1,500 pairs of gloves for Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas

Here we can draw a parallel with the “tests” through which the Afghan veterans had to go through. Of course, these are not absolutely identical situations, but parallels can be traced. Those guys also often felt unnecessary in a peaceful life, and it was a real shock for them. Everyone was looking for their way out of the impasse: someone started their business, someone tried to kill their pain with alcohol or drugs, and a considerable part of the Afghan veterans joined the criminal gangs, popular in the 90s.

In order to prevent Ukraine’s defenders from entering into criminal deals, we have prepared Bill No. 8093. It proposes to endow with official status and take organizations that can provide "military or security services to states, legal entities or individuals outside Ukraine" under state control. If we take the military aspect, then we are talking about:

  1. training personnel of the armed forces or other law enforcement agencies of a foreign state, as well as providing personnel, financial, logistic and informational and analytical support;
  2. maintenance and repair of the military equipment;
  3. military consulting services;
  4. ensuring the delivery of military equipment;
  5. construction work for military purposes;
  6. demining of the territory;
  7. provision of military interpreters;
  8. provision of medical and paramedical services;
  9. provision of services for the peaceful settlement of military conflicts (mediation).

Related: Ukraine’s Embassy to U.S. asks Amazon, eBay to withdraw symbols of Donbas militants from sale

As for security activity, which is also an integral part of the work of military consulting organizations abroad, it provides for the protection of objects for various purposes, ensuring the protection of life and health of individuals, consulting services on security activities. The bill states that all of the above aspects of the activities of military consulting organizations are subject to licensing. A special body – National Commission – to implement the state supervision.

So, summing up, adoption of this bill will provide a real opportunity to:

  1. create new jobs for the citizens of Ukraine, in particular for Donbas veterans;
  2. work abroad on a legal basis;
  3. act in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, since these business entities will be registered in Ukraine;
  4. pay considerable taxes to the state budget.

And finally, a few words about the psychological rehabilitation of fighters who have returned from the combat zone. Only a certain part of the military will choose a career in military consulting companies, where such rehabilitation is provided. All the others should be provided with it by the relevant government agencies.

Related: Five civilians died in Donbas in October, - UN

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