On Saturday, December 22, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed Bill 8519 "On the status of war veterans and guarantees of their social protection" which aims at strengthening the social status of participants in the war for the independence of Ukraine, as reported on the Verkhovna Rada’s website.
The bill would provide the status of combatant to persons who took part in all forms of armed military activities for the independence of Ukraine in the 20th century, including the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Ukrainian People's Revolutionary Army, Polissian Sich, the Ukrainian People's Army (UNA) and the Armed Units of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).
"According to General-Cornet Roman Shukhevych of the Ukrainian brotherhood of OUN-UPA, as of May 23, 2018, 1201 soldiers of the OUN and the UPA participated in the fight for Ukrainian independence in the twentieth century," stated the explanatory note of the bill. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine established the procedure for granting the combatant status of the OUN and the UPA.
The bill was approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on December 6. 236 deputies supported it.
In August, President Poroshenko signed the bill enhancing the social protection of Ukrainian Armed Forces members, including those who take and will take part in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) in the Donbas.