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Ukrainian Security Service suspects Nabiullina of financing the war by building a ruble zone in annexed territories
The Ukrainian Security Service announced in a press release that is has collected evidence that Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank of Russia, is involved in financing “the aggressor country’s military groups.”
According to the agency’s information, Nabiullina personally organized the introduction of a ruble zone in occupied Ukrainian regions. To do this, the agency writes, the head of the Russian Central Bank ordered branches of state-owned Russian bank Promsvyazbank to be opened at seized Ukrainian financial institutions, and also promoted occupying authorities’ efforts to block the circulation of hryvnias.
The intelligence agency also writes that revenue in rubles received from these actions helped to finance Russia’s military-industrial complex and occupying groups.
Nabiullina has been charged according to the Ukrainian criminal code, and placed on the international wanted list.
After the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine, numerous sanctions were imposed against Russia. The initial expectation was that sanctions would destroy the Russian economy, however that didn’t happen. This is largely the result of the policies pursued by the Russian Central Bank, headed by Elvira Nabiullina. In particular, shortly after the beginning of the Russian invasion, the Central Bank introduced a number of currency restrictions, which not only kept the ruble from falling, but even strengthened it.
Occupying authorities have tried since essentially the very beginning of the war to turn captured territories into a ruble zone. A ruble zone was announced in the annexed Kherson region at the end of April. The original plan was to introduce the ruble into circulation on May 1. The transition period was supposed to last four months, after which the hryvnia would be entirely removed from circulation. However, occupying authorities were unable to realize this plan. This was partly due to many Ukrainians refusing to use Russian currency, and partly because of a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive, which resulted in the liberation of vast swaths of territory, including the city of Kherson.
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