The applicant was born in the Soviet Union on the territory of Russia. The facts as to where the applicant lived and when are disputed in the case. In 1999 he was issued a Ukrainian passport, but a court later established that the place and date of birth he indicated were not correct, and his passport was confiscated and destroyed. The authorities argued that the applicant ought to prove he never acquired Russian nationality or alternatively that he renounced his Russian nationality.
The applicant received Ukrainian nationality in 2008, and as part of the relevant evidence he submitted a court ruling establishing the fact of his permanent residency in Ukraine. Soon after, he renounced his Vietnamese nationality. In 2011 there was another court ruling which reversed the ruling about the applicant's permanent residence in Ukraine. This prompted the authorities to cancel the decision on the applicant's acquisition of Ukrainian nationality, rendering him stateless.