From birth Leonid lived in Ukraine. In the 1990s, he lost the passport of a citizen of the USSR, the only passport he had at that moment. Due to lack of need, the man never thought about renewing the documents and getting a Ukrainian passport in time.
But one day everything changed. In 2019 Leonid was given a disappointing diagnosis and required urgent surgery and treatment, which are impossible without documents. The man applied to the migration service for a passport of a citizen of Ukraine. In result of the inspection, he was denied on the grounds that his citizenship could not be established. Leonid was advised to apply to the Right to Protection CF for legal assistance.
The lawyer at our organization made several inquiries, prepared and submitted an application to the court to establish the fact of Leonid’s residence on the territory of Ukraine from the period of independence. As a result of a difficult trial, the fact of residence was established by the decision of the Leninsky District Court of Kharkiv. In September 2020. After all the necessary documents were collected the procedure for Leonid’s citizenship of Ukraine was started.
On 1-st of December, Leonid received a certificate of registration as a citizen of Ukraine. Immediately then, he submitted an application to obtain a passport of a citizen of Ukraine to the Kholodnohirsky Regional Department of the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) in Kharkiv region.
Thanks to the cooperation of the SMSU with the Right to Protection CF, as well as the great job done by the Migration Service staff, Leonid came into the New Year 2021 in a new status of a citizen of Ukraine. Now he can finally receive proper treatment, open his own bank account, exercise his civil and political rights, same as everyone else.
As Leonid said, this was the best New Year gift for him:
«For a moment I felt completely desperate. I was prepared to live the rest of my life without a passport, although in reality I dreamed of receiving it one day. New Year is a magic time when all dreams come true! I believed in a miracle again!»
Recently we told the story of our another beneficiary Pavlo who was in a similar situation and had to live 27 years without a legal identity.