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Donbas veteran, back from war, faces fight for benefits (PHOTOS)

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Ruslan Dubitsky speaks on the phone in the garden of his partner's house in Poltiyivka, Zytomyr Oblast. Although Dubitsky was severely wounded during fighting in Luhansk Oblast in September 2014, he is still struggling to receive the status of a disabled war veteran, and the benefits to which he is entitled.
Photo by Anastasia Vlasova

POLTIYIVKA, Ukraine — In the third year of Russia’s war against Ukraine, social benefits for war veterans are often distributed based on one’s connections, not battlefield past.

Ruslan Dubitsky has been trying to register as a disabled war veteran for more than two years.
Back in September 2014, he was wounded by mortar fire when serving near the town of Novosvitlivka in Luhansk Oblast as a member of the Aidar volunteer battalion, one of the unofficial military units that fought alongside the Ukrainian army in the first months of the Russian-instigated war in eastern Ukraine.

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