The Ukraine Security Services has blocked fundraising for troops through the crypto wallet. The Russian army crossed the Ukrainian border in late February in what Moscow calls a “special military operation” in assistance of the pro-Russian breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
In a press release on Tuesday, the SBU announced that a crypto wallet operated by a Russian Federation citizen and used to fund Russia’s military effort in Ukraine had been blocked. Since the beginning of the invasion, the man, who was a volunteer, has been collecting funds for the Russian forces’ needs.
The wallet consisted of 800,000 hryvnias, almost $22,000 when it was blocked. Experts are now monitoring related transactions and transferring custody to Ukraine. The agency did not say how it seized the wallet. However, it was with the help of foreign crypto companies.
Investigators have concluded that the wallet’s owner has donated a good portion to buying military supplies for the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic fighters.
The Russian activist has since been quite active on social media platforms, mostly looking for financial assistance. To encourage his audience, the SBU detailed that he has posted photos and videos regularly. In addition to posts published by associates and reported the use of collected funds. The SBU, however, did not reveal his identity.
A report by Chain analysis last month revealed that 54 pro-Russian groups had received over $2.2 million in cryptocurrency. They operated out of Donetsk, and Luhansk received most donations through Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as other cryptos.
Ukraine has depended heavily on crypto donations to fund defense efforts. The Kyiv government and volunteer groups raised digital funds. Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, announced on Twitter that $54 million in cryptocurrency funds raised through the Aid For Ukraine initiative had been used to purchase body armor, medicines, night vision goggles, as well as vehicles for the Ukrainian army.
In addition, the Ukrainians also received humanitarian aid from the crypto world. Whitebit, the European crypto exchange, offered support to Ukrainian refugees through its offices abroad. Binance also came out with a unique crypto card for Ukrainians who led to leave their homes due to circumstances.
The article was originally published on CBC