Legionnaires ATO: war for citizenship

For anybody not a secret that in the ranks of the defenders of Ukraine fought and is fighting many citizens of other countries, including a native of the country-aggressor. However, these people, taking in this war the side of Ukraine, unfortunately, can’t rely on her defense — many of them from Ukraine denies the receipt of the Ukrainian citizenship.

The foreigners fighting in ATO on the Ukrainian side, the government promised to provide shelter, protection and citizenship from the very beginning of the Russian aggression on the Ukrainian lands. But in fact it turned out that the Legionnaires waiting for the promised three years, and prospects — to be seen.

So, last week, Kiev has refused to obtain the Ukrainian citizenship to the former fighter battalion “Aydar”, the Russian Julia Elope with the call sign “Valkyrie”. “I officially refused citizenship! Thank You, Petr Poroshenko! Serve the Ukrainian people”, — she wrote on his page in Facebook. According to the girl, which last spring took the first step to citizenship of Ukraine, having received a residence permit, she’s just in shock from what was happening.

Tilopa — one of the many who is in limbo, hoping to get the same ever coveted passport with the Trident. According to the head of public organization “Your way” Alexander Ivashkov, all the time fighting aliens, only four of the volunteers received the citizenship of Ukraine. The latter was Ilya Bogdanov, a former FSB officer, who in the summer of 2014 moved to the side of Ukraine, and defended the Donetsk airport. Presidential decree on granting it the status of a citizen of Ukraine was published in February 2015.

Bureaucratic reefs

Despite the fact that the Ukrainian political elite talked a lot about the priority in the granting of citizenship to legionaries ATO, who wished to be Ukrainians, any disposition of the first persons of the state, as well as laws aimed at simplifying the procedures for foreigners fighting for Ukraine, stalled in hopeless Ukrainian bureaucratic system. As a result, the political will in this matter is only in words.

The main stumbling block for all foreigners in the ATO who wish to become citizens of Ukraine, — the need to provide to the State migration service (SMS) of Ukraine a certificate of good conduct. Although, according to Alexander Ivashkov, the urgency of providing such information seems highly questionable.

“You can take it only in the territory of their States, including in the Consulate. But we all know the possible outcome of such a campaign person to the Consulate… in fact, all the boys in their countries have opened criminal cases”, — stressed Alexander Ivashkov.

The fact that each of the foreign personnel who have been defenders of Ukraine, in fact, commits an offence for which at home he “shines” a very real deadline. For example, in Russia — from 3 to 7 years of imprisonment… Lawyers are also convinced that the need to confirm the information on record such certificate, no. “In the Commission of the President, which reviews the application for citizenship, composed of representatives of the SBU, the interior Ministry, they have all the data,” emphasizes the President of the NGO “Legal hundred” Irina Look.

Moreover, the appropriate document still does not guarantee citizenship. Known cases of Legionnaires certificates issued relatives, by proxy, but in the end, the ill-fated document did not change the situation in the granting of Ukrainian citizenship to these people was denied.

To solve this problem, activists tried through Parliament. In particular, the bill No. 3433 “On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine on legal status of foreigners and persons without citizenship, who participated in the defense of the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine” canceled the need to obtain certificates from other States in the procedure of obtaining citizenship of such people.

However, to date, the document not even passed the first reading. But even if such a law is passed, most of the foreign fighters, while in Ukraine not less than one and a half years (since the beginning of ATO) and, although not having the status of refugee, is already violating the migration legislation of Ukraine. This, anyway, can threaten them with deportation to their homeland, where they Shine fine, again, a prison term and, in some cases, and the death penalty (e.g. in Belarus). Fortunately, according to Ivashkova, today the threat of deportation exists only on paper. Like, with GMS there is an unspoken agreement that forcibly expel from the country one will not…

But in fact, this situation is not normal. Activists helping fighters-foreigners to be legalized in Ukraine, think this situation is a betrayal of the power elite. “The President has no political will to grant citizenship to those who fought for Ukraine”, — says Alexander Ivashkov. Today under his tutelage are two citizens of the Russian Federation — Sergey Petrovichev (call sign “ruby”) and Ilia Chernousov (“Felix”) — that “Your way” helps in the procedure of obtaining Ukrainian citizenship.

In Russia young people are engaged in political activity, took part in oppositional youth organizations and protests. In Ukraine there are still Maidan. In the spring of 2014 went to the ATO, fought in volunteer battalions in the vicinity of Donetsk, was in the Sand, Krasnogorovka, Marinka, Volnovaha, Gorlovka, Ilovaysk. “To our statement that we were there [in Russia] will be planted, pictured in genuine surprise: “what For?”

In Russia, Sergey Petrovichev was a good job and organized life, however, according to him, beliefs — priority employment. Going to Ukraine, he already knew that home is now the way will be ordered. But changing nationality is not thought — it was not before. “On the front recedes into the background. In 2014, when the front line, as such, did not exist, there was a sense that, with high probability, will kill me. About citizenship there think not the first, second, and last,” he recalls. But, over time, the “sweet” promises of the Ukrainian authorities on the mandatory simplification of the grant as “ruby”, the citizenship of Ukraine crashed on the harsh reality.

In August 2015 in Dnipropetrovsk the then GMS Sergei Petrovicheva handed the document, implying a forced return to Russia. “To our statement that we were there [in Russia] will be planted, pictured in genuine surprise: “what For?”. As it is — for what? There people go to jail for a repost on Facebook… because you took part in an armed conflict in another country, there is a corresponding article in the Criminal code [of Russia] — “the mercenary” and “participation in armed groups.” But, the SMS is absolutely not responded, there was some bias,” says guy. Deportation was avoided by a miracle — for the “Rubin” stood up and deputies and representatives of different public organizations, GMS was able to appeal and cancel. In the summer of 2016 Sergei received a residence permit for a period of 1 year. If the situation according to the nationality will not change this year, the document will need to renew.

Of course, the young man intends to do a criminal background check will be the power of attorney and send to her family. However, not Harbor any illusions — I personally know foreigners who, get help, continue to be in Ukraine on the bird’s rights, without citizenship. Rubin emphasizes that it does not require something beyond: “the Political situation, today, tomorrow is another one, it is very dangerous to only have a residence permit. There is no guarantee that tomorrow some decision we will not be expelled from the country, or will not give Russia on request. Just want to feel safe and know that you will never be deported”. Furthermore, the lack of citizenship reduces the guy a chance to get employed or to receive social security disability (Sergey hit a trip wire in the Sand, he had a severely damaged hip, and one foot had to be amputated). Documents Petrovicheva already twice been on the Commission in the Administration of the President.

For the first time — at the end of 2015. Then the Commission gave a positive verdict without any references, however, as time passed, and the President the corresponding decree was never signed. Then in the presidential Administration said that it is necessary to hold a new meeting, since it had adopted new laws, little has changed the composition of the Commission. The second Commission in the case of “Rubin” took place in may 2016. Based on the absence of the ill-fated police clearance certificate, the documents were returned to the migration service. Today Sergei is, in principle, I don’t really believe in to grant him citizenship, but not to lose heart in a hurry. Continues rehab, goes to traffic school, plans to become a programmer. Because the soldier has no hope to obtain a passport from the hands of the President of Ukraine, relies on a more modest option — to survive three years with a residence permit and so obtain the citizenship.

“Defective” promises

Ilia Chernousov as well as Sergey Petrovichev, going to Ukraine understood that to return to Russia would be impossible (that fight for Ukraine admitted parents only at the end of 2014). And about the Ukrainian citizenship was conceived when I was still at the forefront. “When in 2014 left the battalion “miner”, I was trying to get into the Ukrainian army to the contract, but nothing came of it. Then tried to get a civilian position in the “Aydar”, but said that while civil posts are not, we have such (without citizenship, — the UNIAN) have enough”, — says Ilya. The problem was on the thumb: bureaucracy, collection of documents, recommendations from Dnipropetrovsk GMS to return to Russia, the deportation decision…

As Petrovicheva, challenge latest Ilya Chernousov has helped volunteers and concerned officials. The situation with documents to the Commission in the Administration of the President, again, in the worst traditions: first, the collected package of documents about a year just laying in the AP of the first Board were. Then documents several months waiting for the reconsideration, under the pretext that the composition of the Commission changed. In the end, the papers of Elijah was rejected. Now Felix lives in Lviv and comrades helped with registration, so the guy’s a bit easier to learn and work. Live on a temporary residence permit, decorated in the summer of 2016. Chernousov has already sent their loved ones a General power of attorney, now they will try to arrange for him the ill-fated certificate of good conduct… Him and dozens like him, voluntarily defended the Ukraine, and I understand that there’s no going back, now I have to fight for citizenship.

In General, such a situation is unpleasant because in November 2015 the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, answering the petition for the granting of citizenship to those foreigners who defended Ukraine in the ATO, said that the interior Ministry and the GMR sent a letter with the request “immediately” provide advice to individuals defending and protecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine, if they wish to obtain Ukrainian citizenship. And also promised that as soon as the documents these people will come to the presidential Commission on citizenship issues, they will “immediately” they considered. Unfortunately, the farther away, the more it appears that “promptly” is never.