Anniversary of world's worst air show disaster: Injured in Sknyliv air show disaster still struggle for state compensations
Society19:32 Jul. 28, 2016

Injured in Sknyliv air show disaster still struggle for state compensations

33 cases have been already sent to European Court of Human Rights, no results reported yet

Lviv has commemorated the victims of the Sknyliv tragedy. 14 years ago 77 people were killed during an air show when the Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 fighter jet crashed into the crowd of spectators. By now those confirmed guilty have already been freed from prisons.

Those who have been injured or lost their relatives are still waiting for the compensations.

Serhiy Hamyk had his leg amputated after the catastrophe. The man says he got some money, though the sum was not sufficient to cover the expenses. Now he needs his prosthetics to be replaced, the state does not hurry to assist him financially.

Serhiy Hamyk, victim of Sknyliv catastrophe: "They paid me just once. Nowadays the new prosthetics costs approximately 28-30 thousand hryvnias. I cannot afford it"

Dmytro Gudyma is a lawyer working with 33 cases of 100 victims that are being considered by European Court of Human Rights. Since 2006 only one complaint has been satisfied, though the plaintiff has not received her money yet.

Dmytro Gudyma, lawyer: "Many people who have been injured are still in need of special medical treatment. There were some cases when people who have lost the whole family eventually received less money than those who got some minor traumas."

After 14 years of investigation there is still no final version of the accident. Hennadiy Zhukov was one of the team members conducting the investigation. He is sure the air system of Su-27 leaked. As a result, water drops damaged the devices that showed false information. The aerobatics figure must have been carried out at a higher speed.

Hennadiy Zhukov, member of investigation team: "The pilots were sure they were flying at one particular speed, whereas it was much lower. They were supposed to be flying at 430 kilometres per hour according to the speedometer. The real speed, as it was fixed later, was no more than 360 kilometres per hour."

The pilots themselves insist the map of the site was falsified, and they did not they know they had been supposed to fly so close to the spectators.

Sentenced to 14 years behind bars, the first pilot Volodymyr Toponar was let free after 11 years in jail. Now he lives in Kyiv region and is in process of house construction. Toponar says he does not expect the guilt to be established, neither does he believe the investigation will ever be renovated.

Volodymyr Toponar, pilot of Su-27: "I don't blame anyone. Time will show who was right and who was wrong."

His son Ivan has continued the pilots' dynasty. Currently he serves in the ATO zone, piloting a helicopter. Those injured in the catastrophe still hope the state will compensate their losses.

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