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Afghan War Veterans In Ukraine Snub President Over Payout Cuts

  • RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

Some 200 Ukrainian veterans turned their backs to President Viktor Yanukovych.

Some 200 Ukrainian veterans turned their backs to President Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukrainian veterans of the Afghan-Soviet war, angry about proposed cuts to benefits, have snubbed President Viktor Yanukovych at a ceremony to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

When Yanukovych arrived at a Kyiv memorial site on February 15 to lay a wreath to the war dead, some 200 Afghan war veterans standing at attention turned their backs to him after the parade command, “About turn!”

They turned back again to face the monument after Yanukovych and members of the government had left.

Veterans of the 1979-89 Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan, along with veterans of the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster clean-up, have been protesting proposed cuts in their pensions and social allowances since September.

With agency reports
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