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Family members of serviceman from Crimea in need of help

Anna, the wife of Ukrainian army soldier Alexander Boyko, has approached the Open Dialog Foundation for help. Anna and Alexander along with their three children were forced to leave the Crimea and move to the mainland of Ukraine due to the fact that the lives and well-being of military personnel and their families became endangered. They were subjected to constant moral pressure and threats from Russian invaders.

A brief description of the family:

Alexander Boyko, born 1972, captain. He served as the head of the Maritime Safety Inspection Agency in Sevastopol.

Anna, born 1974, maths teacher, fluent in both Italian and English. Besides her Ukrainian Doctorate in Science, she also completed a Russian Master’s Degree in history and a CELI3 B2 Certificate confirming her command of the Italian language issued by the Institute in Perugia.
Son Pavel, born 2002, disabled since childhood; on 17 February, 2014, he was diagnosed with diabetes; his disability allowance granted by the state, amounts to 947 hryvnias (60 euros) per month, while the family have to incur monthly costs of 75 euros just for testing strips which they need to measure his sugar levels.

Daughter Mariya, born in 2008.

Daugther Taisiya, born in 2013.

One of the main problems and difficulties experienced by the family relates to the provision of medical care for their 12- year-old son, Pavel. On 17 February, 2014, the boy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he is now insulin-dependent. The family is engaged in registration of his status of a ‘disabled child’, which will allow him to receive welfare benefit in the future amounting to 947 hryvnias (60 euros). However, these amounts are clearly insufficient, as in order to prevent a sharp decrease in his blood-sugar level and, potentially, a diabetic coma, it is necessary to regularly measure his blood-sugar level with the use of testing strips, on which the family spend 75 euros per month. In connection with the aforementioned circumstances, the family addressed the Open Dialog Foundation with a request for help. 

Needs of the family:

In addition to their need of finding jobs and securing permanent housing, the family is facing the problem of ensuring medical treatment for their son who has been diagnosed with diabetes. In order todothis, they need:

  • Testing strips in order to measure blood sugar level;
  • Needles forthe insulin pen with whichinsulinis administered;
  • Insulin preparations: Actrapid (three or four injections per day) and Protafan (two injections a day).

The Open Dialog Foundation has transferred 2,000 hryvnias to Anna for the purchase of medicines for her son; still, the financial aid only covers expenses of temporary means of Pavel’s treatment.  In order to bring about and maintain remission, as well as to avoid the consequences of disabling consequences, Pavel needs therapy with the help of the Paradigm VEO insulin pump, which automatically shuts off the flow of insulin, preventing a coma. The cost of such a pump is over 50,000 hryvnias (approx. 4,300 euros). It was also recommended that Pavel undergoes spa treatment for children with diabetes.

We are presenting an opportunity for familiarisation with the history of persecution of the Ukrainian serviceman family since the start of Russian occupation of the Crimea.

The military unit, in which Alexander Boyko served, was surrounded by gunmen from 1 March, 2014 to 19 March, 2014. On 19 March, 2014, the building where he was staying, was stormed. The main problem during the storming by the Russian servicemen was the use of the local population, in particular they used women and elderly citizens as cover. As a result, the Ukrainian soldiers could not open fire on the people who were storming the unit, as the Ukrainian government had ordered them not to use weapons against civilians. Despite numerous reports by Ukrainian officers claiming that Russian troops extensively used the local population as a human shield, no further instructions were issued by Alexander Turchinov, the Chief of the Ukrainian Forces or Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence. As a result, the Ukrainian servicemen could not take any action, and subsequently, the Crimea was taken over by Russian troops.

Since the moment of occupation, the pressure has increased and a number of attempted assassinations of not only Ukrainian soldiers, but also their families, living in the Crimea, have been undertaken. Anna's family left the peninsula before the referendum, as did other citizens who did not support the ideology of the Russian military dictatorship. According to the wife of Alexander, this was caused by persecution, intimidation, harassment and violation of basic civil, cultural, and moral rights of all who disagree with the policies of the occupying Russian authorities. The situation in Sevastopol was abnormal, openly Nazi-spirited and against anything which can be considered Ukrainian. Crimeans are now forbidden from speaking Ukrainian. There are some reported incidents of Ukrainian officers and their families being subjected to constant threats and violence, with some even being murdered.

The situation of Ukrainian soldiers has significantly deteriorated following the betrayal of the military oath by top-ranking officials. Vice-Admiral Sergey Yeliseyev - former Deputy Commander of Naval Forces of Ukraine and the supervisor of Alexander Boyko – betrayed the military oath, after which he was appointed deputy commander of the Russian Pacific Fleet. The lack of a clear position on the part of the Ukrainian government, as well as the betrayal of senior officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Crimea, as well as active propaganda by the Russian representatives have resulted in the transition to the Russian side of approx. 50% of Ukrainian troops.

One of the consequences of the occupation by Russian troops was the persecution of approx. 2,000 Ukrainian servicemen, such as Alexander, who remained true to his oath. These people, left without property and means of subsistence, were evicted from the Crimean peninsula and now live in squalid conditions, lacking the most basic means of subsistence.

Currently, Alexander Boyko lives together with other soldiers in the ‘Kuyalnik’ spa resort in Odessa Province, but he has been ordered to leave the building by 1 June, 2014. Living conditions are unsuitable for children: faulty old furniture, impractical sanitary conditions (the shower is mounted directly above the toilet). The spa resort itself is in a state of disrepair and receives no government funding. Despite the fact that Alexander has served in the army for 23 years, the state did not provide his family with any temporary military housing.

All bureaucratic procedures related to tenders for material support for the soldiers, are carried out as sluggishly as before, despite the fact that the situation requires a more rapid response. The soldiers who moved from the Crimea, were not immediately deployed to new military units, and, hence, were not receiving salaries. Reports about the funds collected for the aid to the families of servicemen (are regularly published on the website of the Ministry of Defence. Thus far, 111.8 million hryvnias (approx. 7 million euros) has been collected, but Anna's family, like other families, hasn’t received a penny of these funds thus far.

On 23 April, 2014, Anna attended the reception of the Deputy Minister of Defence, Pyotr Mekheda in Kiev, but she received no positive response, and therefore she began to actively seek help from human rights organisations including the Open Dialog Foundation. 

At Anna’s request, the Foundation does not disclose her surname and the surname of her children for security reasons.

You can provide financial assistance to the family by transferring money to Alexander Boyko’s bank accounts:
Bank card number 5900090000032835941
Recipient: Branch Office of ‘IMEXBANK’ in Odessa
Bank branch location code (MFO) 388584, The code of Unified State Register of Enterprises and Organisations of Ukraine (EDRPOU) 33658252
Bank account number 26205009316703
In the purpose of payment column, please specify: to transfer to the personal account No. 26208936967998 Alexander Alexandrovich Boyko 

For more detailed information, please contact:
Anastasiya Chernogorskaya - anastasiia.chornohorska@odfoundation.eu