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Svitlana was born in Ukraine in the 1960s and lived here almost all her life. For several years in the 80s, she lived in Russian SFSR, but since 1990 the woman has permanently settled in Ukraine. Svitlana had a passport of a former USSR. Since then it has been lost.

After the collapse of the USSR, Svitlana repeatedly tried to obtain a Ukrainian passport, but she failed to do so on her own, due to the impossibility to confirm her citizenship.

The woman decided to apply to the office of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) in Slovyansk at the end of 2019. Nataliia Ishchenko, the lawyer of the Fund filed a lawsuit to establish the fact of Svitlana’s permanent residence in Ukraine as of August 24, 1991. The woman also had witnesses who could confirm in court that she had lived in Ukraine since 1990. However, in November 2020, the court refused to establish the relevant fact, despite the availability of all necessary evidence.

Since there had been no Stateless Determination Procedure in Ukraine at the time, Svitlana remained a person with undetermined citizenship, as both the Russian Federation and Ukraine did not recognize her as a citizen.

On April 16, 2021, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on some issues of recognition as a stateless person came into force. Finally, Svitlana had the opportunity to apply to the territorial department of the State Migration Service and apply for recognition as a stateless person.

At the end of July, Svitlana received a certificate of application for recognition as a stateless person with the help of a lawyer of the R2P, being accompanied by the organization’s monitoring specialist. From now on, Svitlana has the right to live legally in Ukraine.  In the future, in case of a positive decision, Svitlana will be able to obtain Ukrainian citizenship.

To be born in Ukraine and become stateless.  The story of Svitlana Народитись в Україні та залишитися без громадянства. Історія Світлани