EU survey finds half of veterans of eastern Ukraine conflict face discrimination

Photo: European Union
Photo: European Union

Almost half of the veterans (49%) of the conflict in eastern Ukraine report facing bias or unfair treatment in their communities, mainly in public transport, and medical and social protection institutions. The results are from a study presented in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on 23 January.

The study highlights that 32% of veterans feel excluded from society, and 73% think their experience can be understood only by those with a military background. It pinpoints the challenges these veterans and their families face as they reintegrate into civilian life. The study surveyed 2,530 respondents from the regions of Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv and Kyiv from July to October 2019.

“The results help authorities to understand better and to address the challenges that veterans face after they return from the battlefield,” said Ambassador Matti Maasikas, head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

According to the official data, there are about 370,000 veterans of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, many of whom encounter significant hurdles during reintegration into civilian life.

The study was funded by the EU as part of the project ‘Community-based reintegration support for veterans of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and their families’. It was conducted by the International Organization for Migration with the support of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs and Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine.

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Press release

Survey report