Chornobyl disaster liquidators went on a hunger strike in Donetsk on Monday, November 14, demanding an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and the refusal of the authorities to сut benefits for this category of citizens.

"Forty-one people went on a hunger strike on Monday. They refused to leave the regional office of the Pension Fund and spent the whole night in its hall," said Mykola Honcharov, the head of the Donetsk regional branch of the Chornobyl Union all-Ukrainian public organization of Chornobyl disaster liquidators, according to UKRINFORM.

Two hundred and eighteen more people have also expressed their readiness to participate in the hunger strike. Today, the protesters, including Afghan war veterans, are again gathering near the building of the Pension Fund's office in Donetsk region.

Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko, while commenting on protests by Chornobyl disaster liquidators in the city, said that all of the obligations by the state before Chornobyl disaster liquidators should be fulfilled. However, he said that issues related to benefits are not in the competence of the mayor.

The amount of pensions for this category of citizens sharply declined in accordance with Cabinet of Ministers resolution No. 745.

The head of the Pension Fund's office in Donetsk region, Heorhiy Yakymenko, who worked in this position for eight years, has resigned.

The media liaisons office of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry told UKRINFORM that the ministry was studying the situation with the seizure of a public building (of the Pension Fund) and that "a respective decision" would then be taken.

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