Antifake / Factcheck

14 May

“Zelensky Left 300,000 Retirees Without Pensions.” Political Scientist Lazutkin’s Falsely Claim Fact-checked

In 2024, Ukraine, for the first time, marked the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism on May 8.

Ukraine is rewriting history. This is how Belarusian pro-government political analyst Andrey Lazutkin commented on Kyiv's refusal to celebrate Victory Day on May 9. In 2024, Ukraine, for the first time, marked the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism on May 8, as Europe does. According to Lazutkin, Volodymyr Zelensky introduced supplements for Soviet political prisoners but deprived 300,000 ordinary pensioners of their pensions. The Weekly Top Fake team verified this words.

Political scientist Andrey Lazutkin made his statement about pensions, which will allegedly be paid selectively in Ukraine, on the air of the Belarusian state-run TV CTV on May 7, 2024. 

“The previous year, Ukraine officially introduced supplements for Soviet political prisoners. That is, for the militants of Ukrainian underground organizations who were convicted in Soviet times. How many of them are left? Well, about 500 people. But Zelensky left 300,000 ordinary retirees without pensions this year. These are internally displaced persons who did not pass the verification, are in the gray zone, lived under Russian control, or left the country. That is, it is clear how the priorities are built: we pay these people, but we don't pay those,” the political scientist said.

Ukrainian dissidents, writers, poets, figures of the national-democratic movement, and ordinary citizens who were convicted in the USSR for “anti-Soviet agitation” have indeed been receiving pension supplements since 2023. Some fighters of rebel formations who fought for the independence of Ukraine against Soviet power, including in a temporary alliance with Nazi Germany, have also received the payments. 

The fact that Ukraine has suspended payments to approximately 300,000 pensions is also true. However, this does not mean that real people have lost their money.

In 2014, when the war in Donbas began, the Ukrainian government introduced a rule for pensioners who were forced to leave their homes: once every three or six months they had to come to the bank office to confirm that they were alive and the money was going straight to them. 

In the spring of 2020, due to the pandemic, the requirement to personally come to the bank was temporarily canceled. But after the start of the full-scale war, the problem of many displaced persons arose again.

In 2023, the identification rule was reinstated. However, a pensioner does not need to come to the bank. It is enough to confirm a person’s identity through the web portal of the Pension Fund's e-services or via video conference. If a person is abroad, they can contact the Ukrainian consulate or embassy.

From the summer of 2023 to April 2024, 228,000 Ukrainian pensioners, who had fled their homes, successfully verified their identities. However, around 300,000 pensioners have not yet done so for undisclosed reasons. As a result, their pension payments have been temporarily halted. Nevertheless, if these individuals complete the identification process, they will be able to resume receiving their pension benefits.

At the moment of publication, there is no official information about the deprivation of pensions for living in the occupied territories or for any other reason mentioned by the CTV employee.

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