by Jamie Redman
According to a report stemming from the blockchain intelligence company Chainalysis, the firm identified 54 pro-Russian groups that have “collectively received over $2.2 million worth of cryptocurrency.” The paramilitary groups in Ukraine primarily received bitcoin and ether donations but also got tether, litecoin and dogecoin as well, the Chainalysis study details.
Chainalysis believes more than $2.2 million worth of crypto assets have been acquired by pro-Russian paramilitary groups located in the Donbas region of Ukraine. More specifically, Chainalysis says the recipients were located in Donetsk and Luhansk.
There’s been a conflict in Donbas and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine for quite some time. Separatists insist Donbas declared independence from Kyiv in 2014, and pro-Russian military groups agree with the separatists’ declarations. The blockchain intelligence company’s study notes that it discovered roughly 54 pro-Russian groups that have obtained donations in crypto assets.
“Most of the cryptocurrencies donated thus far have been sent to just a few organizations in particular,” the Chainalysis report explains. “However, many more have received still-considerable sums. Five organizations have received over $100,000, 17 have received over $10,000, and 35 have raised more than $1,000 worth of cryptocurrency.”
Since the start of the Ukraine-Russia war in February, the 54 pro-Russian entities in the Donbas region acquired $1.45 million in bitcoin (BTC) donations and $590K in ethereum (ETH) donations.
“The accounts that support militias often publish pictures of the purchased equipment and descriptions of how future donations will be used,” the Chainalysis report says with an accompanying picture of military equipment purchased with crypto. “Sometimes the posts even itemize the purchases,” Chainalysis researchers wrote.
The news from Chainalysis was published on July 29, 2022, as the Ukraine-Russia war continues with no end in sight. In recent times a specific mining study shows that Russia is a popular destination for crypto asset miners. The research published by Intelion Data Systems discovered that crypto miners are flocking to Moscow and Moscow Oblast, Karelia, and Buryatia.
Furthermore, many believe that Russia, China, and the BRICS nations are targeting the U.S. dollar’s perceived hegemony by crafting a new international reserve currency. Just recently both Russia and Ukraine have traded blame over a deadly attack on a prisoner of war prison in a separatist region in Ukraine.
The Chainalysis report further says that funds are being sent to people listed on the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned individuals list. For instance, “Alexander Zhuchkovsky, an OFAC-designated Russian national, has used social media to solicit donations for the Russian Imperial Movement.”
While the $2.2 million in crypto is a significant sum, Chainalysis researchers remark that the information is useful. “Because public blockchains are transparent, we can follow each transfer in these accounts’ chains of payments, gleaning insights into pro-Russian activities that would be harder to extract from fiat money investigations,” the company’s report concludes.
What do you think about the recently published Chainalysis report that discusses $2.2 million sent to pro-Russian groups in Ukraine? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,700 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.
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by Jamie Redman