It’s been a year and a half since the Anti-terrorist operation was launched in Donbass. The military conflict in Eastern Ukraine has urged many people to abandon their established homes and receive a status of temporarily displaced persons. In the new settings, Donbass residents have also encountered new challenges, including problems with the documents.
There are over 90 thousands of displaced persons officially registered in Mariupol. Marina Dmitruk, Deputy Head of Zhovtnevy District Civil Registration Office of Mariupol, told the journalists of “Donbass Public TV” just how often those displaced persons apply to civil registration offices. “It has become very common, because the problem emerged a long time ago, you know, due to the ATO. This happens pretty often as people get born, die or want to marry someone,” — she says.
There is no specific procedure for the displaced persons to register their marriage, birth of their children or their death. Still, the procedure of registering a baby born in a territory, that is not under the control of the Ukrainian government, is kind of complicated.
“If a baby was born in maternity hospital located within a territory beyond the control of the Ukrainian government, then the parents should first appeal to the court. Once they have the court ruling on the establishment of the fact of birth, they will need to apply to the Civil Registry Office in order to get the child’s birth certificate,” — Dmitruk replies. She says that according to the Ukrainian legislation, the whole registration procedure for the baby, who was born in the occupied territory, takes around 3 weeks. Also, the displaced persons should not face any problems registering their rights to inheritance, says Yulia Bashkirova, the attorney.
“If someone wishes to claim inheritance in the territory that is currently not ruled by Ukraine or in the territory where authorities either do not perform their duties or perform them to a limited extent, that person has a right to apply to a local notary public at the place of his/her residence, let us say, in Mairupol, in their local district, and submit an application for acceptance of inheritance. “As of today, there are neither explanations nor prohibitions. They may not accept any notary denials, that the territory is not subject to them. They cannot issue a notarial application. The whole thing is illegal. It is necessary to demand a denial letter.” — says the attorney.
However, when it comes to practice, the registration of rights to inheritance is a one of the major paperwork problems for the displaced persons. “We have this specific situation in Mariupol, whereas anyone can submit such application in Kharkov or in Kiev, while the Mariupol notaries claim that they cannot accept an application from someone living in Shyrokino, for example,” — Bashkirova emphasizes.
The issue of closing purchase and sale deals in the territory beyond Ukraine’s control is still acute today. Nowadays it is officially impossible either to sell or buy real estate there. This is the case of both real estate and means of transportation. “Even if such transactions were made, all these transactions would be deemed illegal by the court, because there is no procedure in place for re-issuing documents at the moment,” — the attorney adds. To provide the displaced persons with legal help, several free legal aid centers are operating in Mariupol, where one can turn to in case of problems with registration of certain kinds of documents.
Besides, lawyers believe that uniting displaced persons under the umbrella of large public organizations protecting their interests would help out in solving many problems. “There are currently 91 thousands of displaced persons in Mariupol – if just a third of them unite their efforts, they will gain substantial benefits. At any rate, when someone applies alone, it is considered an isolated case; in case of a mass appeal, they all support each other. By doing so they make it possible to submit a letter or an appeal signed by 100, 200 people instead of just one person. So naturally there will be more attention to a document like that,” — Bashkirova summarizes.
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