A Ukrainian man is facing deportation from the Highlands and a jail term for refusing military service in his home country.
Andrii Krynychnyi claims the Home Office “wasted” four years of his life by failing to rule on his asylum application sooner.
He joined his mother and stepfather in Fortrose after graduating in engineering, in Ireland.
But, at 27, the Home Office has rejected his application for asylum and an appeal – and refused him a work permit.
In a final plea to the Home Office, Mr Krynychnyi said: “Give me a choice to be a normal person in Scotland. I would love to give something.
“I don’t want to be a bad person. I love this country.”
The Russian orthodox Christian now faces deportation to his homeland and jail for refusing military service there.
“I don’t want to take a weapon and kill my neighbourhood people who live with me or are of the same religion. I don’t want that because of my religious opinion.
“I don’t want to take a knife or a weapon, shoot guns and kill free people who have the same opinion as me – peace,” he said.
His mother Elena and her Scots husband Ali MacLennan say they may have no choice but to follow him to Ukraine.
The country has been in bitter conflict with Russia for seven years. Military call-up is compulsory.
Mrs MacLennan said: “It was a horrible decision because he’s my only child. I understand very well what happens if he goes back to Ukraine.
“It’s a very bad situation at the moment. It’s continued and it’s more and more trouble.”
Mr MacLennan said: “This is where we would rather stay but we’ll see what happens. If we have to go, we have to go.”
Asked what his message was to the Home Secretary, he said: “After waiting four years, I think the minimum you can do is leave the guy alone and give him a chance to get a job and get working, which he wants to do.”
Local MP Ian Blackford recently intervened on the family’s behalf. But soon afterwards, Mr Krynychnyi learned that his quarterly enforced registration at a local police station would become a monthly burden.
Blackford said the four-year process led to “a disgraceful waste of a young man’s life.”
He wants a review of the decision.
The Home Office refuses to discuss individual cases with the media. It declined to respond when asked why its deliberations had taken four years.
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