Monday, November 19, 2007

A terrible price to pay

Yanuk's shallow, inadequate comments on visiting the Zasyadko mine in Donbas today, where a terrible mining disaster has occured: "I think not one mine in the world is safeguarded from similar events. All accidents which take place in mines, are linked with the conducting of mining works; and natural disaster [stikhiya] spares no-one, it is merciless...This accident yet again reminded us that man is powerless against natural disaster [stikhiya]." [Same quotes appear in Akhmetov's 'Segodnya']

The mine has witnessed many disasters in recent years:

May 1999 - 50 deaths
August 2001 - 55 deaths
June 2002 - 20 deaths
September 2006 - 13 deaths
November 2007 - 63 deaths and many more unaccounted for at time of writing..

It it is difficult to image what it is like to earn a living in such a death-trap where fatalities occur with such gut-wrenching regularity - a mine is not a battlefield or a war zone. The poor miners of Donbas deserve better..

Also at the site are presidential secretariat head Baloha, and national security and defence council secretary Ivan Plyushch. How long will Ukrainian miners put up with these unworthy leaders who are more interested in feathering their own nests than improving the lot of the working man?

'Ostrov' points out that several years ago a road in Donetsk was named in honour of the Zasyadko mine boss Yukhym Zvyahilsky, a former acting prime minister of Ukraine, and now PoR VR deputy. How ironic that this is the road that leads to the cemetery where dead miners are normally buried..

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