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 refused to exchange his USSR passport for the Ukrainian one in the aftermath of dissolution of the USSR, and was subsequently denied his retirement benefits due to lack of a Ukrainian passport. He requested the Court to establish that he is a stateless person, to release him from Ukrainian nationality, and grant him legal residence rights in Ukraine. The Court concluded that the applicant is in fact a Ukrainian national, even if he refuses to apply for a passport, as the law attributes Ukrainian nationality to all former USSR nationals who lived in Ukraine at a specified time, regardless of the will, actions or inactions of affected persons.