On March 23, military unit A 1352, located in the city of Balakliya, Kharkiv region, was subjected to a diversion attack by a drone. A fire broke out, which caused a continuous series of explosions of ammunition. Balakliya turned into a place of real military hostilities.
Both the military depot and the civilian population suffered damages. Only one third of the supplies of the largest Ukrainian storage facility was saved. More than 600 houses were damaged.
“The homes of several thousand families were damaged. About 100 families can no longer stay in their homes, since the profile commission has found their housing unsuitable for further residence,” said Samopomich MP Roman Semenukha. The losses of people at the initial stage alone amounted to about 300 million hryvnias. The state has allocated 185 million hryvnias, 40 of which were issued from the reserve funds of the regional and local budgets.
The actions of the local authorities actually offset the value of the state financial aid, since no compensation is provided for the victims of the Balakliya tragedy. Moreover, the local officials refuse to provide estimates and reports on spending of public funds. External repair works are being carried out, but they are partial and selective.
Tetiana Bidniak, a deputy of the Kharkiv regional council, states, “The residents of Balakliya are constantly writing collective appeals about the quality of the repair works, inaction, compensation for the lost property. We are keeping record of all violations of the local authorities and we will address the competent authorities.”
The victims complain that even having the acts of assessments of the damaged property – which they managed to receive by the skin of teeth – it is impossible to achieve justice.
“None of the affected families has received any financial compensation or adequate alternative housing. In fact, the procedure for providing financial assistance is being sabotaged. A significant amount of damages occurred inside of people’s houses and apartments,” confirms Roman Semenukha. “It is very important to restore people’s trust in the authorities; to achieve this the authorities must carry out the compensation, find and punish the perpetrators of this tragedy.”
Also, the deputy believes that the failure of the local authorities to provide the reports and estimates should become a subject of an investigation by NABU.
By the way, Samopomich has registered a bill providing for the allocation of additional 200 million hryvnias from the state budget for the liquidation of the consequences of the tragedy in Balakliya.