Ilya was born in 1955 in the village of Krasni Chetai. There he spent all his childhood, went to school, and finished the 10th grade. After graduating, Ilya served in the army for 2 years in Severomorsk. The man received a secondary special education after graduating from an agricultural vocational school in Yadrin, Chuvash Republic.
In 1976, Ilya received a passport of a citizen of the USSR for the first time. His return from the army was awaited by a girl who later became his wife. The family then had two boys born. For most of his life the man worked hard and was never ashamed of his job: for almost 17 years he was a seasonal worker. He worked as a logger for 4-6 months a year in Yaiva, Perm region, in order to be able to feed his family.
In 1988, the family moved to the Republic of Moldova, where they lived until 1998. Then they decided to come to Ukraine, where the man’s sisters lived. On the way to Ukraine Ilya’s bag with all the documents was stolen. As a result, the man was left with only a birth certificate.
Therefore, when Ilya came to Ukraine in 1998, he had only a birth certificate, which he keeps to this day because this is the only document he has now. The man has been living in the village of Zelenodolsk in the Apostolivskyy district of the Dnipropetrovsk region for more than 20 years. He repeatedly tried to recover the lost documents, as due to their absence he was not able to work officially, receive proper medical care, and earn a pension. Unfortunately, the man is homeless now and has to live in the basement of the house of his neighbors. As a sign of respect and gratitude, he uses his masterful skills to repair or restore household items.
Thanks to the help of Zelenodolsk City Council and with the participation of the social issues specialist of the I category Fandyushyna Tetiana, in February 2021 this man finally got a chance for a new life: our colleague Olena Pazenko, monitor of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) told them his story and then quickly transferred the case to the R2P Kharkiv office, where lawyer Dmytro Hanych then began working on the case.
In August 2021, thanks to the joint efforts of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), Zelenodolsk City Council, and the Apostolivskyy District Sector of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Ilya was finally able to apply for recognition as a stateless person.
At the time of consideration of the application, he received a certificate of application for recognition as a stateless person: how happy he was at that time is difficult to describe in text, because this certificate gave him the right to temporarily stay in Ukraine on the legal grounds. But his dream was not just to get the right to stay legally in Ukraine, but also to become a citizen because he gave more than 20 years of his life to this country.
Yes, these are just the first steps and the first document. After twenty years of waiting, Ilya is still optimistic about the future and hopes that Ukraine will finally recognize it.
Team R2P expresses our sincere gratitude for the cooperation to help this lonely man to the staff of the Apostolivskyy district sector of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Zelenodolsk City Council, and to the social issues specialist of the I category Fandyushyna Tetiana!