Nevzorov effect: applicants for Ukrainian citizenship want to be driven through tests

Nevzorov effect: they want to run applicants for Ukrainian citizenship through the EIT tests

Nearly 22,000 votes were collected by a petition to introduce a mandatory exam for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship. Filed on May 23, it became very popular after the scandal that caused information about granting our citizenship to Alexander Nevzorov and about the possible issuance of Ukrainian passports to Russian oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Roman Abramovich.

There are still more than two months before the end of the collection of signatures, therefore, it is highly likely that the petition will gain the required number of votes and be submitted to the president for consideration. If purely theoretically imagine that Volodymyr Zelensky agrees with the author and amends the current law to the Rada, the procedure for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship may turn out to be one of the most difficult in the world.

At least 140 points

< p>The initiator of the petition appeals to the fact that the current procedure for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship does not oblige to know the language, history and laws of Ukraine. And, therefore, everyone who receives our passport can not strain to integrate into Ukrainian society. “Being a Ukrainian/Ukrainian is a privilege and at the same time a responsibility. In addition to a set of documents, candidates must show their respect and genuine interest in acquiring Ukrainian citizenship,” writes author Vitaliy Kapustyan. To remedy the situation, he proposes to establish three tests: in the Ukrainian language; on the history of Ukraine; on knowledge of the Constitution of Ukraine.

For the first two tests of external independent evaluating applicants will be useful. Passing points will be at least 140 points (this year, this is the bar for admission to legal, managerial and diplomatic specialties). For the third, it is recommended to apply the test that civil servants pass.

The fourth requirement is knowledge of the National Anthem. True, they will not be forced to sing, but it is advisable to sing along when “Not yet dead …” will be included in the records.

Special procedure

According to the current law, if a foreigner does not have the right to our citizenship by birth or origin, he must legally reside in Ukraine for at least five years. So there is time to study textbooks.

The exception is made by the persons having special merits before Ukraine. According to such a swift procedure, Mikhail Saakashvili, the reformers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs from Georgia, Maria Gaidar, Ilya Ponomarev and other Russian oppositionists received Ukrainian citizenship at one time. Also, a Ukrainian passport was allegedly issued for Alexander Nevzorov and his wife. We are talking allegedly because this issue has not been finally clarified.

There is no mention of “special merits” in the petition, but judging by the categorical nature of the author, the tests should apply to everyone.

Nevzorov effect: they want to run applicants for Ukrainian citizenship through UPE tests

Vladimir Fesenko. Photo:

– The procedure for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship, from my point of view, needs to be made more clear, strict, transparent and purely legal, so that there is less room for subjective decisions that cause conflict situations, – says head of the board of the Penta Center for Applied Political Research Vladimir Fesenko.– There are international standards: knowledge of the language is a must, knowledge of the law is also a must. In the United States, for example, knowledge of the history of the country's constitution is required. A score in points is too much, but there should be some kind of exam on the basics.

At the same time, the article “for special merits”, according to the political scientist, should be left, since such a norm is also in many countries of the world.

– But it is necessary to clearly state what these merits should be. The procedure itself must be exceptional and explicable. For example, Friedman – whether someone likes it or not – has every right to apply for Ukrainian citizenship, because he was born in Lvov. But Nevzorov never lived in Ukraine and does not live now. In his case, granting citizenship is a purely symbolic and erroneous decision.

Task for the SBU

Nevzorov effect: applicants for Ukrainian citizenship want to be driven through EIT tests

Konstantin Bondarenko. Photo:

– We already have a rather complicated procedure for obtaining citizenship to make it even more difficult. A lot of bureaucratic delays. I know several people who applied for Ukrainian passports, they told me what circles of hell they went through. Now many states are simplifying the procedure for obtaining citizenship, Ukraine should also move along this path, believeshead of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation Konstantin Bondarenko. – We must proceed from a reasonable optimum, and not from political considerations: if you have Russian, then you cannot get it.

The author of the petition relies on the experience of the Baltic countries, where applicants for citizenship pass exams. Yes, knowledge of the language is checked there, in Estonia the Minister of Education personally does this. Additionally, knowledge of the constitution and citizenship law is required. In Latvia – understanding the main points of the history and culture of the country. In Lithuania – knowledge of the foundations of the constitution. Therefore, the model proposed by Vitaly Kapustyan with tests for UPE is too demanding.

– Against the background of what is happening now, quite sound ideas can be elevated to insanity. Such practices are possible, but politically it would be interesting to me if half of our far-right nationalists themselves would pass an exam in history, and then offer it to others, – says Professor of the Ukrainian-American Concordia University Serhiy Panasyuk.

Nevzorov effect: they want to run applicants for Ukrainian citizenship through UPE tests

Sergey Panasyuk. Photo:

The expert raises a reasonable question: what are the complications for?

– In order for a simple person who wants to become a citizen of Ukraine to go crazy? Or to prevent possible traitors? Then let's consider the draft law so that all applicants for Ukrainian citizenship are checked by the SBU. Now such checks are optional, let them be mandatory,” Serhiy Panasyuk suggests an alternative.

And he proceeds from the following: if out of one hundred percent of foreigners who want to become Ukrainians, two percent turn out to be traitors, then why complicate life for everyone else.


From June 8, signatures are being collected for a petition to allow Russians and Belarusians to declaratively renounce their citizenship upon transition to Ukrainian. Now only foreigners who serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, are official refugees or politically persecuted persons enjoy this right.

“Correction of this injustice is especially critical against the background of the cynical granting of Ukrainian citizenship to Alexander Nevzorov, a former deputy of the Russian Duma, by direct decree president, when many Ukrainian families and candidates have been waiting for decisions on their applications for years,” writes Vitaliy Vlasyuk, the author of the petition.

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