How Maksym got a new leg with legal aid

45-year-old Maksym lost his leg in an explosion in Kherson. With legal support he received a new prosthetic leg.

© Rasmus Emil Gravesen

DCA Ukraine

For several months, Maksym commuted daily between his apartment in Mykolaiv and his job in Kherson, situated along the frontlines. As a mechanic, he played a crucial role in repairing ambulances used to aid those at the frontline. However, his life took a tragic turn in September 2023 when a nearby explosion resulted in the loss of his right leg.

45-year-old Maksym, who was suffering from a concussion and undergoing operations, had to navigate the complex legal process of establishing that his injury was caused by actions of war.t

“It took me eight months to get a prosthetic leg from the government, but it would never have happened without legal assistance. Understanding and working with the bureaucracy with a war injury is an impossible process. Everything must be done in a specific way. I had to travel all over the city and the region to complete paperwork while recovering. I could not have managed it alone,” Maksym explains.

The Ukrainian organization Right to Protection has been instrumental in guiding Maksym through the extensive process of filling out the necessary documents to apply for compensation and obtain recognition for injury as a result of actions of war. Without the correct stamps and approvals, receiving aid for prosthetics, wheelchairs, or other assistive devices from the government agencies is nearly impossible, he says.

Recovery impossible without family

Maksym’s legal aid, supported by the European Union, ensured he received the prosthetic leg he desperately needed. Now, he can also look forward to receiving a monthly compensation of over 10,000 UAH for the loss of his leg and livelihood. Although the amount is much less than what Maksym earned previously, he emphasizes that it is enough to keep their family afloat.

“There are many things we suddenly cannot afford in our daily lives – like paying our fixed expenses for our car, but at least I no longer have to move around in a wheelchair. Public spaces here are not designed with wheelchair users in mind. I want to get a job again, but it is incredibly hard to get there by public transport with a disability,” he says and continues:

“I feel incredibly lucky to have a family that needs me and helps me through all this.”

Petrol station on the way to Kherson city. August 2023.
Clip from Maksym’s YouTube channel.

When asked how Maksym managed to get through these past eight months with the loss of a leg, a concussion, and getting all the paperwork to begin his rehabilitation, he remains silent and points to his wife Larysa with a smile. However, the war has had a profound impact on Maksym’s family, especially their youngest daughter, who is just three years old.

“It is strange to have to explain to your little daughter what a ballistic missile is because she has heard that it’s what hits us,” says Larysa.

Wanting to support others in adapting to a new life, he has begun to share his journey of injury and limb loss to recovery on his YouTube channel. Under the alias ‘Mine-explosive injury is not a verdict’, he films himself doing everyday tasks like gardening, chopping firewood, or going to the playground with his daughter to show that life goes on.

“We are proud of your courage,” says one user on Maksym’s channel.

© Rasmus Emil Gravesen


Humanitarian Mine Action combined with legal as well as psychosocial support, form the backbone for this EU funded project in Ukraine lead by DCA/NCA.

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