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President Cancels Discounts for Chernobyl Victim Groups

July 9, 1996

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) _ In an effort to halt fraud, President Leonid Kuchma canceled tax exemptions and discounts Tuesday for many groups who claim to represent Chernobyl victims.

Ukraine’s parliament passed a motion last week calling for several changes in the tax legislation for Chernobyl-related organizations.

Several such groups have been accused of falsely claiming to represent Chernobyl victims and abusing tax exemptions and discounts.

Ukraine has hundreds of organizations for people who suffered from the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Some 3.5 million Ukrainians still live on land contaminated by the blast.

The new measure affects only ``small-scale Chernobyl groups, which are impossible to control,″ a parliament statement said.

In addition to widespread reports of fraud among Chernobyl groups, some officials in Ukraine’s Chernobyl Ministry have been accused of misusing funds earmarked for cleanup and care for Chernobyl victims.

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