Olive Allen, a Russian citizen and artist who has lived in the United States for more than 11 years, burned his native country’s passport in hopes of attracting attention and raising funds related to the military conflict in Ukraine.
Speaking to Cointelegraph on Friday, Allen described herself as “the new baby of Russia” and said the country would always be part of her identity, but she chose to cut ties with her because of her recent activities in Ukraine. . Standing in front of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York, Allen burned her Russian passport – which she said was the only copy she had – and planned to auction the video as a non-virulent token (NFT), with the proceeds going to humanitarian causes. in Ukraine.
“I don’t consider Putin’s Russia my home,” Allen said. “Our country has such great potential, but the government has been having sex with people for a long time.”
Allen, who has been involved in the crypto space since early 2018 in the wake of the Bitcoin (BTC) bull run in December 2017, said the decision to burn her passport was due to her inability to imagine returning to the country under her current leadership. . She said she wanted to refute the notion that all Russian civilians support military action against Ukraine, noting that she knows people in the country who have been “brainwashed so they can’t go back” to support the regime.
“I love my country, but I do not believe in Putin’s Russia. I do not see myself living there in the current situation. What is happening now is very heartbreaking.”
Olive Allen at the Russian Consulate General in New York
Auctions for the burnt NFT card began Friday at the SuperRare Market. Allen said she will use the proceeds from the sale to donate ether (ETH) directly to Save the Children, which aims to help children around the world deal with issues such as human trafficking, early marriage, lack of education and fleeing violence. .
Allen said she wanted to focus on sending money for humanitarian purposes rather than the military. Save the Children is currently accepting cryptocurrency through the non-profit fundraising platform Giving Block in BTC and ETH for nearly 7.5 million children “caught in the crossfire of war” in Ukraine. The NFT artist said that by burning her passport in public, she actually made homecoming dangerous by spreading her views on the government.
“I will never be able to return to Russia with the current regime – I will be arrested immediately,” Allen said. “In Russia, they put you in prison for less money. It lowered my chances of getting back, I mean at least under the current system.”
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Burning a passport does not usually mean automatic renunciation of citizenship in any country. Under a 2002 federal law, persons residing abroad may renounce Russian citizenship “of their own free will” unless they are investigated in Russia, have no citizenship in another country, or have “pending obligations to the Russian Federation.”
Allen will likely need to present a valid passport to the Russian consulate and fill out the necessary paperwork to legally sever ties with the state. Although she said she could go this route at some point, the very “blacklist” to catch her fears upon her return to any Russian territory was enough.
Cryptocurrency has become a major topic in discussions about sending money to Ukraine and Russia to circumvent US and European Union sanctions. The Twitter accounts of Ukraine and the country’s Minister of Digital Transformation have published addresses to collect cryptocurrency donations in BTC, ETH, Tether (USDT), Polkadot (DOT), and Dogecoin (DOGE), while US and European lawmakers insisted on clear regulation of cryptocurrency. Due to concerns that Russia may use the digital assets to avoid sanctions.