We have a presence in the majority of the EU and North American countries. The Nansen Passport 2.0 initiative is actively supported by hundreds of Russian citizens abroad who want to have a legal status not connected to their Russian passports.
The initiative was started by Russian citizens who have found a new home in amazingly beautiful and hospitable Slovakia. Soon they were joined by Russians living in other European countries, the USA and Canada. We have willingly chosen to emigrate and we aspire to become a part of the societies that have welcomed us. The news of the Russian aggression against Ukraine on February 24 came as shocking, painful, and shameful to each one of us. We couldn’t afford to remain idle: we would never forgive ourselves if we did.
Millions of Ukrainians have found refuge in Europe since the start of the war. From the very first days, Europeans have been providing help to the victims of Russian aggression. We have been doing it too. We’re collecting and distributing humanitarian aid, helping people find housing and providing it ourselves, sending money to charity funds and directly to those who need them. We are also trying to help Ukraine by communicating reliable facts about this senseless aggression – the facts that we learned directly from its victims – to our relatives, friends and acquaintances in Russia.
In Russia, the things that we’re saying and doing to help Ukraine and Ukrainians are considered criminal offenses. Each of us can get a 12 to 20 year prison sentence for “helping the enemy” or up to 15 year prison sentence for “spreading fakes”. To protect ourselves and our families, we’ve started the activist group The Nansen Passport 2.0. The main aim of our group is to obtain legal status in the countries where we’re living, a status that wouldn’t be tied to our Russian travel passports. We want to keep living, working, studying, and raising children in our new home countries without being afraid that the Russian consulate can deny us new travel documents when the current ones expire. We don’t ask for any special treatment nor for obtaining citizenship ahead of schedule. We just want to get rid of the fear of prosecution for taking a stand against this war.