By publicly burning her Russian passport, NFT artist Olive Allen stated she was effectively making it dangerous to return by denouncing the current regime.
Olive Allen, a Russian native and artist who has lived in the United States for over 11 years, has burned her home country’s passport to raise awareness and funding for the current situation in Ukraine.
Allen characterized herself as a “child of new Russia” on Friday, saying that while the country would always be a part of her identity, she had chosen to cut connections with it because of its recent actions in Ukraine. Allen burnt her Russian passport, which she said was the only copy she had, in front of the Russian Federation Consulate General in New York City, and planned to auction the film as a nonfungible token, with the revenues going to humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.
“I don’t consider Putin’s Russia to be my home,” Allen explained. “Our country has tremendous potential, but the government has been screwing people over for a long time.”
Allen, who has been working in the crypto world since early 2018, following the December 2017 Bitcoin (BTC) bull run, claimed she burned her passport because she couldn’t see herself returning to the country under the current government. She stated that she wanted to counter the idea that all Russian civilians backed military action against Ukraine, stating that she knew people in the nation who had been “brainwashed to the point of no return” in their support for the Kremlin.
“I like my country, but I am sceptical about Putin’s Russia.” In the current environment, I don’t see myself living there. What is going on right now is just heartbreaking.”
On Friday, her burning passport NFT went up for auction on the SuperRare marketplace. Allen stated that she will donate Ether (ETH) straight to Save the Children, an organization dedicated to assisting children throughout the world who are victims of human trafficking, early marriage, lack of access to education, and fleeing violence.
Allen stated that she preferred to contribute donations to humanitarian causes rather than the military. Save the Children is presently taking BTC and ETH donations for the nearly 7.5 million children “caught in the crossfire of war” in Ukraine through the nonprofit fundraising site Giving Block. The NFT artist said that by publicly burning her passport, she was effectively making it dangerous to return home by expressing her dissatisfaction with the government.
“With the current regime, I could never return to Russia – I’d be jailed right away,” Allen added. “In Russia, people get imprisoned for less. I’ve effectively eliminated my chances of returning, at least under the current government.”
I’m a Russian artist and I burned my passport because I do not believe in Putin’s Russia & I do not support the war in Ukraine 🇺🇦
💙I’m auctioning off my Burnt Passport NFT to raise funds for the people of Ukraine impacted by the war.
💛Friday, 1pm ET @SuperRare pic.twitter.com/Vnf8turjVH
— Olive Allen (@IamOliveAllen) March 3, 2022
In general, burning a passport does not imply renunciation of citizenship in any country. Except in circumstances where they are under trial in Russia, have no other country’s citizenship, or owe “an outstanding duty to the Russian Federation,” a person residing abroad can remove their Russian citizenship “of their own free will,” according to a federal law passed in 2002.
To legally terminate relations with Russia, Allen would most likely need to submit an undamaged passport to a Russian consulate and complete out paperwork. Though she stated that she might take this path in the future, being effectively “on a blacklist” was enough to make her fear imprisonment if she returned to Russian territory.
Cryptocurrency has emerged as a prominent topic of debate in discussions about how to move funds to Ukraine and Russia while avoiding US and EU sanctions. Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation’s Twitter account posted addresses to solicit crypto donations in BTC, ETH, Tether (USDT), Polkadot (DOT), and Dogecoin (DOGE), and US and EU lawmakers have pushed for regulatory clarity on crypto amid concerns that Russia could use digital assets to evade sanctions.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.