SSU investigates head of russian bank for introducing ‘ruble zone’ in Ukraine’s temporarily occupied regions

The SSU has collected evidence against Ruslan Arefiev, the chairman of the board of the russian TsMRBank, which finances russia’s war against Ukraine.

On the orders of the kremlin and russia’s central bank, the official is introducing the so-called ‘ruble zone’ in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine.

To do this, Arefiev, with the local gauleiters’ support, opened more than 200 branches of the russian bank in Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk.

After the seizure of the left-bank Kherson region and part of Zaporizhzhia oblast, he set up another 27 branches of the occupation financial institution there.

The offices were mostly opened in the seized branches of Ukrainian financial institutions.

In this way, the aggressor is trying to have all cash and electronic payments in the temporarily uncontrolled areas of Ukraine in russian currency.

The occupation TsMRBank is also involved in financing russian troops fighting against the Defence Forces.

This includes payment of ‘salaries’ to the occupiers and covering the costs of their ‘cantonment’.

All bank payments of russia’s local occupation administrations have been transferred to the branches of this kremlin bank.

Based on the evidence, the SSU notified Arefiev of suspicion in absentia under Articles 27.5, 110.3 of the CCU (intentional actions with the purpose of changing the boundaries of the territory and the state border of Ukraine in violation of the procedure established by the Constitution of Ukraine, which led to grave consequences).

Comprehensive efforts are underway to bring the criminal to justice.

The investigation was carried out under the procedural supervision of the Prosecutor General’s Office.