‘Peace Formula’ summit on invasion anniversary, events and changes upcoming in Ukraine

1 February, 01:51 PM
The Ukrainian flag on the equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Bakhmut area, January 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

The Ukrainian flag on the equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Bakhmut area, January 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

The anniversary of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine will be marked in February, and several major international summits in support of the Ukrainian people and the peace formula proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will take place. 

Apart from that, there are many other changes awaiting Ukrainians within their country.

NV describes main changes and events of upcoming February.

New rules for paying for housing and utilities with subsidies

Starting from Feb. 1, 2023, there will be no more option for the automatic cashless payment of utilities for those with housing subsidies. From now on, Ukrainians who receive housing subsidies must pay their utilities bills by themselves.

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Since January 2023, the Pension Fund of Ukraine has been fully authorized to pay and grant benefits and subsidies, so now Ukrainians have to apply to it for subsidies. From now on, benefits are provided in the form of direct payments only.

"This money (subsidy payment) will be credited directly to bank accounts. If a person doesn't have a bank account or hasn't provided the relevant information, the money will be accessible through Oschadbank (the State Savings Bank of Ukraine). Then they will need to open an account in this or any other bank in order to be able to receive these payments further", Svitlana Antoniuk, the deputy head of the Main Department of the Pension Fund in Zhytomyr Oblast, commented on the changes to Ukrainian Suspilne TV.

After getting subsidy payments, a receiver has to pay housing and utilities as usual on their own.

Retired persons will be able to receive their subsidy payments in a post office or at home along with pension payments.

Non-retired persons also have an option to get their subsidy payments in a post office, if they specially apply for it.

Payments to internally displaced persons according to the new list of combat zones

Starting from Feb. 1, 2023, an updated list of oblasts for payments to internally displaced persons (IDPs) will be enacted. There will be a distinction between the following:

  • areas of possible combat actions;
  • areas of active hostilities;
  • occupied areas with no set date of combat or occupation termination.

The list includes parts of the following oblasts:

  • Donetsk Oblast (66),
  • Kharkiv Oblast (56),
  • Dnipropetrovsk oblast (10),
  • Luhansk Oblast (37),
  • Zaporizhzhia Oblast (62),
  • Kherson Oblast (49),
  • Mykolaiv Oblast (26),
  • Sumy Oblast (19),
  • Chernihiv Oblast (4).

All IDPs from these regions have the right to receive monetary payments from the state.

The list is to be updated according to the situation on the front line.

It is worth noting that Kyiv was excluded from the list of the possible combat action areas according to the order of the Ministry of Integration.

It means that IDPs from Kyiv will not further receive payments from the state.

New passes for curfew in Kyiv

Starting from Febuary new passes are being introduced in Kyiv for moving through the city by car during curfew.

The employees of security and defense services of Ukraine, crucial infrastructure workers and officials who are authorized to move around the city during the curfew (from 2300 to 0500) can change their outdated passes for new ones at the Kyiv commandant's office from Feb. 1 to 15.

"Residents and guests of Kyiv are strongly advised to adhere to the curfew rules, which are communicated through the public media, announcements in public transport and messages on notice boards," Kyiv Commandant, Major General Viktor Plakhtiy, said, speaking about the update of the vehicle pass system.

It is prohibited to be outside and move around the city by vehicle or on foot without a special pass during the curfew in Kyiv. However, it is allowed to go to the nearest shelter in case of an air raid alert.

New rules for receiving child benefits for Ukrainians in Poland

Ukrainians who are permitted to live in Poland, have to apply for a child benefit in order to retain the right to receive payments under the 500+ program. This program provides child care assistance until the child reaches the age of 18, regardless of the family's income (of an amount of PLN 500 ($116) per child). Both Ukrainians with a residential permit in Poland and those who came to the country after the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion and applied for a legal status there can receive these payments.

Starting from Feb. 1, to confirm your eligibility for such assistance (or to apply for it), one needs to submit an application to the Polish Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) in one of the following ways:

  • register on the PUE ZUS e-services website (or log in, if a person has been already registered on it) and fill out an application for the benefit;
  • use the mZUS application for Android and IOS users.
  • submit an application through the Emp@tia portal and via e-banking.
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The applications are meant for the new period, which begins on June 1, 2023, and lasts until May 31, 2024.

Ukrainians can receive their benefits for the time they and their children are in Poland. They must have a PESEL number (a number in the Universal Electronic Population Register) and fill out the SW-U online form (in Ukrainian).

If they leave Poland for Ukraine for more than 30 days, they lose the right to legal residence in Poland and thus the right to the 500+ benefit.

An important EU-Ukraine summit

The next EU-Ukraine summit will take place in Kyiv on Feb. 3. Although the previous one also was in the capital of Ukraine in October 2021, the decision was made to hold this summit in Kyiv instead of Brussel as had been scheduled before, so as to mark the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Ihor Zhovkva, the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, has announced that "an important decision" is to be made during the summit. According to him, the participants will discuss the following:

  • further Ukrainian integration into the European Union;
  • updated plans for integrating some industries in Ukraine into the European market;
  • extending the agreement liberalising the transport of freight by road between the European Union and Ukraine and trade liberalisation;
  • the idea of unified roaming for Ukraine and the EU;
  • further defense, financial and political support of Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression.

Change of accounts for payment of single contribution in Kyiv

The Main Directorate of the State Tax Service in Kyiv city announced that single contributions to obligatory state social insurance should be made to new accounts starting from Feb. 1, 2023.

Single contributions "should be made to accounts 3556 in the name of the Main Department of the State Tax Service in Kyiv under 201-204 reporting symbols," the official statement reads.

The account details will be posted on the sub-site of the Main Department of the State Tax Service in Kyiv in the Accounts for payments section.

Accounts for other territorial bodies of the State Tax Service remain unchanged, the State Tax Service said.

The question of pension rises in 2023

Pensions in Ukraine will increase neither in February 2023 nor during the year. As of Dec. 1, 2022, the minimum old-age pension is UAH 2,093 ($57), and this amount will remain unchanged in the New Year as defense spending is the current main priority for the country.

Still, in 2023 some changes are expected that will affect the size of the pension in Ukraine.

Pensions are to be indexed in March 2023. They are expected to increase by 5.4%. Special attention will be paid to indexing pensions for civil servants and scientist researchers.

Starting from April 1, 2023, pensions will be automatically adjusted for those who continue to work upon reaching retirement age.

Minimal pensions for Chernobyl victims are also to be adjusted depending on Ukraine’s average monthly wages. It's expected to increase to UAH 18,261 ($498). The pension for those who have a level 1 disability will be 100% of the average wage. People with a level 2 disability will receive a pension of at least 80% of the average wage. The pension for people with a level 3 disability will be no less than 60% of the average wage.

In 2023, additional payments are planned for those who receive a pension of less than the minimum level, as well as for pensioners with long service. For each additional year of service (women - 30 years, men - 35 years), the additional payment will be UAH 20.93 ($0.56).

The anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine

Feb. 24, 2023 will mark the first anniversary of Russia expanding its war against Ukraine to the full-scale level and conducting the genocide of Ukrainians according to the international definition of the war crime.

A Ukrainian-initiated summit on the peace formula proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be held at the UN headquarters in New York on the anniversary of the outbreak of full-scale war.

Zelenskyy proposed a 10-point peace formula at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia in November 2022. It’s key points include the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, Russia’s complete withdrawal from the whole of Ukraine’s territory (including Crimea), the liberation of all prisoners of war, punishment for all war crimes, and security guarantees for the country’s future. Kyiv has proposed its allies to lead each one of the points of the peace formula.

Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andrii Yermak, said that Ukraine wants over 140 countries to attend the peace formula summit.

Also, the G7 foreign ministers will meet in February in Munich to demonstrate their unity in the face of Russian aggression.

The Munich Security Conference will be held from Feb. 17 to 19 and will be chaired by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, as Japan holds the G7 presidency this year.

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