A tech innovations firm based in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi is now “selling Russia piece by piece” in the form of NFTs. The money from the collectibles, representing almost 2,500 Russian regions, will be used to help rebuild Ukraine, which was invaded by the Russian army two months ago.
Leavingstone, a digital creative agency from Georgia, has joined efforts to raise funds for Ukraine, which has been defending against Russian military aggression for eight weeks. The company is now selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing parts of Russian territory.
In the first of three planned phases of the ‘Russia for Sale’ initiative, Leavingstone is auctioning off 2,443 regions of the Russian Federation depicted on playing cards with name, size, and a “weirdly authentic coat of arms.” An interactive map offers the parcels to potential buyers and with 34 already sold, over $19,000 worth of ether has been accumulated so far.
“We saw a huge potential in it,” Leavingstone co-founder Levan Lefsveridze told the Georgian service of Radio Free Europe. “The majority of people would want to be involved in Russia’s partition,” he added, in a clear attempt to troll Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government who have threatened to punish any calls for violating Russia’s territorial integrity.
During the next stage of the sale, the Georgian agency will offer NFTs of Russian landmarks like the Kremlin, the Ostankino TV Tower in Moscow, Putin’s winter palace and home, a property worth close to an estimated $1 billion, and a bunker. “If you’re into the post-soviet aesthetic of Khrushchyovka architecture, you’ll like it,” the organizers tease investors.
The third sale, they promise, is going to be a big one. “We’ll be auctioning Lenin himself. Yep. Stuffed granddaddy of the red revolution will be up for sale!” the project’s website pledges. Its operators emphasize that all the proceeds will be devoted to supporting Ukraine.
The main beneficiary is the Ministry of Digital Transformation in Kyiv and all collected funds will be transferred to its wallet. Among other responsibilities, the department has been taking care of Ukraine’s defense in the cyberspace, another battleground in the conflict with Russia.
Ukrainian government institutions and volunteer groups have received tens of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency donations since Moscow launched its military assault in the early hours of Feb. 24. The money is used to fund Ukraine’s defense efforts and solve mounting humanitarian problems.
Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine came eight years after Russia annexed Crimea and gave support for the pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas region. Georgia has had its own problems with the same neighbor. Russia backed separatists in Abkhazia in 1992 and then prevented the Georgian government from retaking the territory of another breakaway republic, South Ossetia.
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