The Russians informed the Ukrainians that “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” According to a study published on July 29 by Chainalysis, multiple pro-Russian organizations have collected more than $2 million in cryptocurrency donations (mostly in the form of BTC and ETH) to support Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.
According to the report, Chainalysis has identified a total of 54 pro-Russian organizations that have received over $2.2 million in BTC, ETH, Tether, LTC, and DOGE to provide equipment and logistics to paramilitary groups in the Donbas region of Ukraine. These territories are subject to OFAC sanctions.
Russians purchase supplies with cryptocurrency donations
Chainalysis claims that the pro-Russian organizations are buying weapons, drones, protective jackets, communication equipment, and other military items with the cryptocurrency donations they have received.
According to the blockchain intelligence company, paramilitary organizations have demonstrated on social media how they utilize cryptocurrency donations to purchase weapons. As an illustration, the report quotes a request for money to purchase a drone made by one of the reportedly identified pro-Russian social media accounts:
“We have only 150 thousand rubles left to raise for a drone that will be able to deliver “gifts” to the positions of our Ukrainian “friends.” We hope to be able to film it on video and delight you with interesting shots.”
Other organizations have also made public purchases of medical supplies including first aid kits and medical backpacks. Chainnalysis notes that while not receiving huge sums of money, they have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the militias.
Chainalysis explains that even while the total amount collected by the Russian factions is modest, it might significantly increase Russia’s efficiency throughout the battle as the Ruble, the country’s native currency, has significantly depreciated in value. A hedge against inflation and the depreciation of weak fiat currencies is thought to be cryptocurrency.
Russia uses cryptocurrencies to avoid US sanctions
Chainalysis claims that paramilitary groups have utilized cryptocurrencies to get around UN bans. Coin mixers and other obfuscation techniques were used to conceal more than 11% of the total donations.
Additionally, Chainalysis discovered that local cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato was used by pro-Russian parties to launder about $1 million.
Similar to this, Chainalysis contends that the rise in the number of pro-Russian organizations accepting donations in cryptocurrency signals that these organizations may be working together to further their goals.
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