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Top cryptocurrency news: Pro-Russian groups raised only 4% of crypto donations sent to Ukraine

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According to data from a crypto analytics firm, users have transferred more than $2 million in cryptocurrency to 54 pro-Russian groups since February 24, a fraction of the amount received by several Ukrainian government-controlled wallets.

The firm stated in a blog post on Friday that it has monitored funds transferred to pro-Russian social media accounts in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), USDT-TRX, and Dogecoin since the country's invasion of Ukraine in February. Users sent approximately $2.2 million to pro-Russian groups, according to firm data, with more than $1 million going to a single anonymous account.

While other groups may exist outside of firms' investigation of those backing pro-Russian forces, the available data revealed that the $2.2 million in donations amounted to around 4% of the cryptocurrency transferred in support of Ukraine. Wallet addresses linked to ‘Aid for Ukraine’, a platform supported by the government's Ministry of Digital Transformation, revealed that the group had collected more than $45 million in cryptocurrency since its introduction in March. Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that allows donations through its Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund, reported receiving more than $10 million since February.

Since the invasion began, both Russia and Ukraine have suffered significant losses and deaths. 'Aid for Ukraine' platform said that cryptocurrency contributed to its wallets will be used to fund the country's military and humanitarian programs; however, sources estimated that $2.2 million sent to pro-Russian groups might be used largely for military equipment and propaganda sites.

“While significant, the $2.2 million in cryptocurrency donated to pro-Russian groups pales in contrast to the tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency donated to Ukraine,” according to the crypto analytics firm.

The donations to Ukraine appear to have been made in line with international law. However, sources reported that roughly half of the cryptocurrency sent to pro-Russian groups would be used to support military forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk territories of Ukraine's Donbas region — areas specifically sanctioned by the United States Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent economic penalties imposed by the US, many worldwide politicians targeted cryptocurrency as a way for Russian individuals and companies to potentially avoid sanctions. In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law outlawing the use of digital financial assets as payment.

Read also: Top cryptocurrency news: The White House Science Office will have a blockchain specialist post thanks to the Chips bill.

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