Sunday, November 20, 2022

Fears Spread that Russian Soldiers Wounded in Ukraine May Not Get Help They Need Because Regions Don’t Have the Money

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 18 – Politicians in Moscow are saying all the right things about providing all-Russian support to those soldiers who are seriously wounded and left as invalids as a result of combat in Ukraine, but there are real fears the center won’t provide real help and wounded warriors won’t get help from cash-strapped regional governments, Andrey Zakharchenko says.

            The Svobodnaya pressa commentator says one can only welcome recent declarations by United Russia politicians that they will do everything to help the wounded, but Russians have good reason to know that promises are one thing and real programs are another (

            There are thus compelling reasons to think that after making these promises, Moscow won’t do anything, that the wounded will be left to the mercies of cash-short regional governments, and that they will either get no help or get help only after waiting in lines for years, the commentator says.  He cites three experts on this question.

            As the pandemic showed, Guzel Ulumbekova, the head of the Higher School for Healthcare Administration says, Russia and especially its regions do not have enough medical professionals or money to handle cases in ordinary times and “the flood” of victims from the Ukrainian war will completely overwhelm them.

            Sergey Obukhov, a secretary of the KPRF Central Committee, agrees. Russia needs “not just traumatologists and rehabilitation specialists. It needs psychologists who can address PTSD. But as of today, these needs aren’t even being acknowledged let alone addressed. And that is tragic because the problem is growing larger with each passing day.

            And Oleg Ivanov, head of the Center for Resolving Social Conflicts, argues that the state must “develop centralized programs of support for all those who have suffered in the course of the special operation.” Failure to do so will lead to a growth in “social dissatisfaction,” something that may ultimately lead to the rise of political opposition.

            It should be obvious, he says, that at present, “the state doesn’t need to take any extra steps that will lead to social instability” in Russia.

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