The Russian national will use the sale of her burning NFT passport to support Ukraine

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Olive Allen, a Russian citizen and artist who has lived in the United States for more than 11 years, has burned her motherland’s passport in hopes of raising awareness and funds about the military conflict in Ukraine.

Speaking to Cointelegraph on Friday, Allen described himself as “a child of the new Russia” and said the country will always be a part of her identity, but that she decided to sever ties with him due to his recent actions in Ukraine. Standing outside the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York City, Allen burned her Russian passport — which she said was the only copy she had — and planned to auction the video as a non-fungible token (NFT), whereby the proceeds went to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

“I don’t consider Putin’s Russia my homeland,” Allen said. “Our country has such immense potential, but the government has fooled the people for eternity.”

Allen, who has been in the crypto space since early 2018 after Bitcoin’s (BTC) bull run in December 2017, said the decision to burn her passport was because she couldn’t see herself ever under his current leadership return to the country. She said she wants to challenge the narrative that all Russian civilians are in favor of military action against Ukraine, noting that she knows people in the country who have been “brainwashed to the point of no return” in supporting the regime there is more”.

“I love my country, but I don’t believe in Putin’s Russia. I don’t see myself living there in the current situation. What is happening is just heartbreaking.”

Olive Allen at the Russian Consulate General in New York City

The auction of their burning pass NFT went live on Friday on the SuperRare marketplace. Allen said she will use the funds raised from the sale to donate Ether (ETH) directly to Save the Children, an organization that aims to help children around the world with issues such as human trafficking, early marriage, a lack of education and escaping violence to help.

Allen said she wants to focus on sending funds for humanitarian efforts rather than the military. Save the Children is currently accepting crypto donations through nonprofit fundraising platform Giving Block in BTC and ETH for the approximately 7.5 million children “caught in the crossfire of war” in Ukraine. The NFT artist said by publicly burning her passport she was effectively making repatriation dangerous by publicizing her views on the government.

“I could never return to Russia with the current regime – I will be arrested immediately,” Allen said. “People go to jail for less in Russia. I’ve cut off my chances of returning, I mean at least during the current regime.”

Related: The crypto community is rallying with Ukraine as local NFT artists’ works sell out

In general, burning the passport does not automatically mean renouncing a country’s citizenship. According to a federal law introduced in 2002, a person living abroad can withdraw their Russian citizenship “of their own free will,” except in cases where they are charged in Russia, hold the citizenship of another country, or owe “an outstanding obligation to the Russian Federation.” Russian Federation.”

Allen would likely need to present an undamaged passport and fill out paperwork to a Russian consulate in order to legally sever ties with the country. Though she said she might eventually pursue this path, being effectively “blacklisted” was enough to make her fearful of arrest if she returned to any Russian territory.

Cryptocurrency has become a major topic in discussions involving sending funds to both Ukraine and Russia to potentially circumvent United States and European Union sanctions. Twitter accounts for both Ukraine and the country’s digital transformation minister posted addresses to solicit crypto donations in BTC, ETH, Tether (USDT), Polkadot (DOT), and Dogecoin (DOGE), and US and EU -Lawmakers have been pushing for regulatory clarity around crypto over concerns that Russia could use digital assets to evade sanctions.