A draft law on the status of veterans (Draft Law. No. 2045-1"On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Providing Status and Social Guarantees to Individuals among the Participants of Anti-Terrorist Operation") must be considered in the Verkhovna Rada in the next plenary week. The Amendments to the Law "On Status of Veterans of the War, Guarantees of Their Social Protection," aimed at supporting the families of combatants who perished in ATO/JFO area, must be prepared by November 15.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed this during a meeting with relatives of defenders who perished while protecting territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine in the ATO/JFO area. This meeting took place in the Cabinet of Ministers after the Head of State had returned from a working trip to the Donetsk region.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk and Minister of Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Oksana Koliada also were present at the meeting.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the attendees for waiting for his return from the trip to Donbas. He also said that he was ready to listen to their proposals and join the initiatives.
They discussed a set of questions which had faced the combatants, their relatives and close families of the perished Ukrainian heroes. In particular, participants exchanged views on amendments to the draft law on the status of veterans and their social guarantees. Relatives of the military appealed to the Head of State to support amendments of legislation that had been jointly developed with the Relevant Ministry, relatives of dead serviceman, NGOs and activists.
A clear formulation of the concept of "family members of defenders who perished in ATO/JFO area" and social guarantees for them was voiced by attendees.
They also discussed the issues of material support and assistance to the wives, children and parents of dead serviceman. The issue of providing travel privilege for this category of citizens was also raised, as members of families of servicemen often face unfair refusals, etc.
"You are the first President who met the families of fallen servicemen in this format. We thank you for this and ask for your encouragement, in particular to ensure that our interests will be adopted at the legislative level. It concerns the privileges and the corresponding status we deserve, " wife of the lost Hero of Ukraine Iryna Mikhniuk said to the President.
Participants of the meeting also expressed the need to honor the memory of defenders who perished while protecting territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine and discussed the possibility to celebrate the Day of Remembrance of the Defenders of Ukraine at the state level on August 29, next year.
In addition, the relatives of the fallen heroes paid attention to that many servicemen had been awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. They asked to address the issue of honoring these military state awards, including the title Hero of Ukraine.
The participants also discussed the issues of patriotic education, implementation of various projects of patriotic orientation, filmmaking about heroes of Ukraine.
The Head of State said he was ready to support these initiatives.
"When the bill is finalized and submitted to the Verkhovna Rada, I am ready to give it the status of an emergency so that the Parliament can quickly consider and adopt it," the President assured.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Oksana Oksana Koliada supported the proposal to create a Council of Families of Deceased Servicemen under the Ministry for Veterans Affairs.