Chernobyl Clean-up Workers' Hunger Strike Enters Sixth Day - Kiev
A hunger strike in Mariinsky Park by Chernobyl cleanup workers entered its sixth day as they protested cuts in pensions and social allowances for themselves, Afghan war veterans, and the elderly and disabled. Ukraine. 5th December 2011
On Monday, the hunger strike by the Chernobyl liquidators (workers who cleaned up following the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Catastrophe) continued for a sixth day in Mariinsky Park. On November 29th and 30th, protestors held rallies in front of the Cabinet of Ministers. Those protests were in response to a 10 % cut and a subsequent additional 33 % cut in pensions and social allowances for Afghan war veterans, Chernobyl cleanup workers, people that fought as children in the Great Patriotic War (World War II), elderly and disabled people. The Chernobyl cleanup workers (Chernobyl Union of Ukraine) also support the referendum outlined at www.rznu.com.ua (Russian / Ukrainian). Additional information on the Chernobyl cleanup workers and their plight can be found at http://spilkachernobulja.io.ua (Ukrainian). Information re the Chernobyl Accident can be found at http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/chernobyl/inf07.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster.
On Monday evening, the 29 hunger strikers and protestors remained in Mariinsky Park. They plan to stay in Mariinsky Park for the duration of their strike. They had been joined by 14 Chernobyl Cleanup workers from Donbass and from Kiev. As such, the number has temporarily grown to 43. That is, 2 of the original hunger strikers are suffering from health problems and will return to Lugansk on the train Monday evening. Then, there will be 41. The hunger strikers wear headbands that state, in Russian "I am Hungry", "On Hunger Strike", or, simply, "Chernobyl".
On Monday evening, Kyiv Dynamo and Donetsk Metallurg were playing a match at Dynamo Stadium adjacent to Mariinsky Park about 200 meters from the hunger strikers camp, however, it is doubtful the police would allow them to watch the match from the fence.
The temperature was 10 ̊C on Monday at 12:00 and raining. Monday night, the forecast called for 2 ̊C.