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Should the city of Pripyat be saved?:

Property of ‘Assistance to Children of Chernobyl’ association has been seized

Custom’s officers ruined the major sponsor of the Gomel region. They penalized the leading charity organization to the amount of Br 330 million. In addition, 100 million rubles will be charged for utilization of the perished products, which had not reached the zone through the fault of the Custom’s officers. They perished at the warehouses, which had been rented for 50 million rubles.

All in all, the damage amounted to around 200 thousand euro, the site www.bulletinonline.org reported. But the public organization simply does not have the money at its disposal.

“Assistance to the Children of Chernobyl” is one of the largest international public organizations in the republic. Since 1991 it has delivered over 20 million euro of humanitarian assistance to the areas of the Chernobyl Atomic Power Plant. It also provided healthcare abroad to around 100 thousand children from families and asylums suffering blood diseases, diabetes, cancer and other health disorders. With the sponsors’ help around 10 thousand people are annually examined in the regional endocrinology center.

It was on 9 April 2005 when the 433 tons of humanitarian consignment was brought by the Italians, Germans and Belgians to the address of the “Assistance to the Children of Chernobyl” association on occasion of the Easter. The custom’s decided to reweigh and search 100 tons of the consignment. The consignment had to be kept in the ”Obltorgsoyuz” warehouses for temporal storage.

Naturally, no crime was detected by the customs. Though when searching the consignment it damaged 50 tons of parcels with owners’ names, which had not been acknowledged as such by the custom’s. The goods from the parcels were then itemized and nearly declared as the contraband goods. Head of the association Genadz Karetsky applied several times to the custom’s for giving the definition of the concept ”parcel with the inscribed owners’ name”. But he has not received the answer yet.

First parcels with owners’ names out of those 100 tons reached the addressees only after 4 months. The rest 9 tons of goods are steel kept at the warehouse .The major part of it has perished and must be utilized. And that will mean a considerable sum for the association.

It seems that the custom’s officers hardly realize who is waiting for such humanitarian consignment. The custom’s officials have good apartments, cars; their children are healthy, well fed and dressed. They do not eat radioactive products; they are not acquainted with the living conditions in asylums.

And a disabled child has been waiting for his wheel-chair for another half year when “uncle custom’s officer” was deciding whether his wheel-chair is the contraband or not. Other Chernobyl children didn’t get vitamins or clothes or simply happiness of getting presents. Now they won’t get anything. But it’s no bother to the “uncles custom’s officers”. They are happy to bring another 200 thousand euro of penalties to the state budget …


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