A young Russian woman who has become one of the most vocal and visible anti-war protesters in Dublin has spoken about how the invasion of Ukraine has left her "hating herself".

In recent weeks, Olga Kiseleva has cut a striking figure at demonstrations at the Russian Embassy in Dublin, wearing a Ukrainian flower crown in blue, yellow and white.

The computer science graduate has been an outspoken critic of the Russian regime for almost a decade.

But she says the war in Ukraine has impacted her like nothing else.

"I am devastated and torn apart. When I hear how Ukrainians or other nations hate Russians, I feel the same. I hate all the people who are staying silent and supporting the war. However, I realise that I have this Russian passport and I should start with hating myself. I have wanted to hold any other citizenship since 2014, but now it's even worse."

Ms Kiseleva has been an outspoken critic of the Russian regime for almost a decade

Ms Kiseleva, who is a keen artist, has lived in Ireland for six years.

Like millions of Russians she has Ukrainian relatives and friends.

"I have lost all the family members who stayed in Ukraine," she said. "I am a Russian-born Ukrainian. I know that even the great grandchildren of people in Russia will still carry what's happening now as a tragedy. And they will still be ashamed of what the Russian President has done.

"I have been joining every Ukrainian protest I can. I'm just there for people. Sometimes I take a megaphone because I don't mind being really loud and I know some people are holding it in emotionally. I don't think about my citizenship.

"I've had situations where Ukrainian women were crying on my shoulder. I told them I was Russian, but then I explained that I have also had family members who have died. And we cried together. Whenever I can protest this war, I will. I want everyone in Ireland to hear me."

Ms Kiseleva with one of her artworks which she is hoping to auction for charity

Ms Kiseleva says she left Russia before her political activism left her in "real danger".

"A lot of my friends in Russia ended up in prison for politically-motivated reasons. A lot of them who left Russia cannot now return. Even in Ireland, I think I have been blacklisted. But I know the risks and I know my family and my partner are supporting me. I live with it."

One of Ms Kiseleva's friends is the reason she has been wearing the distinctive flower crown to anti-war protests here.

"I was in Kyiv just before the pandemic started in 2020," she explained. "And my friend told me that the traditional colours from where my parents come from are white and blue. So, she helped me pick this flower crown.

"She is still there, protecting Kyiv with an assault rifle. Every time she sees my picture wearing the flower crown at a protest, she texts me. And that's how I know she is still alive."

Ms Kiseleva doesn't know if, or when, she will be able to return to either Russia or Ukraine. However, when she does travel again, she hopes it will be as an Irish citizen.

"I just want to believe that the future will be peaceful for Ukraine. And that whenever I get my Irish passport, I can just go there and help rebuild the country. I don't want to go there for the funeral of my friends, but I probably will have to," she said.