The pro-Russian authorities of the occupied territories of Ukraine began to arrange raids on the enterprises of businessmen who refused to switch to rubles. Entrepreneurs are threatened with confiscation of property and withdrawal of all currency for the use of the hryvnia, informs Center of National Resistance (CNS).
They reminded that from January 1 in the annexed regions, a mandatory ruble zone was introduced. After that, “searches” took place at local enterprises that did not stop selling goods for hryvnias. In the shops forced to set price tags in rubles, so residents are switching to non-cash payment. At the same time, Russians are seizing terminals and threatening fines.
Despite this, not only businessmen, but also ordinary citizens continue to use the hryvnia, according to the CNS. The ruble was introduced only in large retail chains that were captured during the war, small businesses and markets continue to resist.
In this regard, the pro-Russian authorities are trying to devalue the Ukrainian currency as much as possible. The rate in exchange offices is mostly “one to one”, although in January the Central Bank set it at 19.4 rubles for 10 hryvnias. In addition, a fee of 15–20% is charged for withdrawing hryvnia from the card.
Earlier in Ukraine, a criminal case was opened against the head of the Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, for the introduction of the ruble in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. According to the SBU, Nabiullina helped Russian-appointed local administrations block the circulation of the hryvnia. She also ordered the opening of branches of the Kremlin-controlled Promsvyazbank on the basis of seized branches of Ukrainian financial institutions. In this regard, the service plans to put Nabiullina on the international wanted list.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four regions of Ukraine on September 30, although there are still fighting in these territories, and some of them are still under the control of Kyiv. On January 11, he demanded that the Cabinet submit a “development program” for these regions, the destruction of which was the result of his decision to start a war in Ukraine. Putin stated that “in the horizon of 2030” they should reach “the all-Russian level in terms of the state of infrastructure, social services and other quality parameters.”