A 82-year-old resident of the city of Horlivka, who had been working as a miner for 13 years, won a case against Ukraine in the European Court of Human Rights and was awarded 2,000 Euros for the refusal of the state to compensate his public utility costs.
According to article 43 of the Mining Law of Ukraine, personnel that was employed for heavy works and had worked in dangerous and/or harmful working conditions for over 10 years, are entitled to compensation of electricity, gas and central heating costs.
However, when the man tried to get his money as prescribed by the law, the state authorities informed him that although such compensation is, indeed, provided for by the Mining law, there were no relevant mechanisms to provide it in practice. Therefore, the elderly Volodymyr Budchenko would have to wait for an undefined period until the Cabinet of Ministers establishes such mechanism (if it ever does so).
Ukrainian courts of all instances held to the same opinion.
The European Court of Human Rights disagreed with the arguments provided by Ukrainian courts, found Ukraine guilty of violating property rights, and obliged the state to pay Mr. Budchenko a compensation of 2,000 Euros.
Mykhailo Tarakhalo, Director on Strategic Affairs, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, represented the plaintiff in the European Court of Human Rights.