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Top Cryptocurrency News: Ukraine Blocks Crypto Wallet Used to Raise Funds for Russian Forces

24-Aug-2022 By: Sudeep Saxena
Top Cryptocurrency N

Ukraine's law enforcement and counter-intelligence agencies have seized funds from a cryptocurrency wallet used to fund Russia's military operation in the nation. 

According to Kyiv officials, the funds collected through the wallet were used on military weapons for pro-Russian separatist forces in the east.

For the first time, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has implemented a mechanism to limit cryptocurrency fundraising for troops fighting on the Russian side in the country's current conflicts. The conflict escalated into a full-fledged war when the Russian army entered the Ukrainian border in late February in what Moscow called a special military operation in support of the pro-Russian separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

The SBU announced in a press statement on Tuesday that a crypto wallet operated by a Russian Federation citizen and used to fund Russia's military campaign in Ukraine had been blocked. Since the outset of the invasion, the man, who portrayed himself as a volunteer, has been collecting funds for the needs of Russian soldiers.

The wallet had collected digital currencies worth 800,000 hryvnias (almost $22,000 at current values) when it was blocked, according to the SBU, and the funds have now been seized. Experts are now tracking related transactions and transferring custody to Ukraine. The government did not disclose how it seized the wallet, but it did say it was assisted by overseas cryptocurrency businesses.

Ukrainian investigators discovered that the wallet's owner used a major percentage of the donated cryptocurrency to buy military equipment for the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics. The operation also included representatives from Ukraine's National Police and the Prosecutor General's Office.

Since the latest phase of the conflict began, the Russian activist has been aggressively soliciting financial help on social media channels. To promote his efforts, he has created and routinely posted photo and video content, disseminated postings made by acquaintances, and reported on the usage of the gathered funds, according to the SBU, without exposing the Russian's identity.

Based on a research released last month by a blockchain forensics firm, 54 pro-Russian groups have collected over $2.2 million in cryptocurrencies. These groups, based in Donetsk and Luhansk, received the majority of donations in bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), but also in other cryptocurrencies.

Ukraine also relied on cryptocurrency donations to support defense activities, with both the government in Kyiv and volunteer groups raising digital funds. Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, recently revealed on Twitter that $54 million in cryptocurrency donations raised through the 'Aid For Ukraine' campaign had been used to purchase body armor, pharmaceuticals, night vision goggles, and even vehicles for the Ukrainian army.

The crypto community and businesses have also donated purely humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people. Whitebit, a European crypto exchange with Ukrainian roots, pledged to assist Ukrainian refugees through its overseas representative offices, while Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency trading platform, developed a special crypto card for Ukrainians forced to flee their homes.

Read also: Cryptocurrency price update: BITCOIN PRICE ANALYSIS : BITCOIN is currently trading sideways, MAKE OR BREAK will decide the beginning of a new trend.

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