Pro-Russian groups have amassed $400,000 in cryptocurrency since the Ukrainian invasion
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Answer Pro-Russian groups have amassed $400,000 in cryptocurrency since the Ukrainian invasion
Paramilitary groups use cryptocurrencies to fund Russian operations in Ukraine.
It has been reported that pro-Russian groups have amassed a large amount of cryptocurrency for Russian military activities in Ukraine, bypassing US-led sanctions.
According to a study by compliance and risk management firm TRM Labs, the total amount raised has reached $400,000 as of September 22, CNBC reported Monday.
The study revealed that these organizations were using the popular messaging application “Telegram” to provide supporters with options to send money, which was later spent to buy supplies for militia groups affiliated with Russia and pay for combat training at sites near the Ukrainian border.
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One of these, Task Force Rosich, was designated by the US Treasury Department as a neo-Nazi paramilitary group that fought alongside the Russian military in Ukraine.
The department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on her.
She was trying to raise money for items like thermal imaging equipment and radios on the Telegram channel.
The report added that another group identified by TRM Labs raised about $21,000 in cryptocurrency, primarily bitcoin, with the aim of buying drones.
The group was established in 2014 to support Russian operations in Ukraine.
The findings come amid mounting sanctions against Russia over its decision to attack Ukraine in late February, which severely limited its access to the global financial system.
The Russian government is now working to legalize crypto payments for international settlements in order to circumvent restrictions.
Expansion of the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia:
While the crypto space may not contain enough liquidity that Russia would need to move large amounts of money, experts have pointed out, it does have enough to allow paramilitary groups to make transfers for the items they need to acquire.
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Ari Redboard, Head of Legal and Government Affairs at TRM Labs, explained:
They might be using illegal trading platforms to get out with that money…of course, there will be more.
But will it be billions of dollars?
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To identify the groups, TRM Labs used publicly available wallet addresses and examined other websites and online activities.
Earlier this year, there was a report Issued by the analysis firm Chainalysis, which identified 54 pro-Russia groups that collectively received more than $2.2 million in various cryptocurrencies.
The company said that while most of the crypto money was sent to many of these organizations, the remainder unmentioned also received significant sums.
The Telegram application allows users to transfer encrypted digital currencies
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