A Crimean official has said that Ukrainians living under Russian military control have begun to reject the Ukrainian currency in favour of Russian roubles, and “feel at home once more in historical Russia”, according to the RIA news agency
President Vladimir Putin sent Russian forces into Ukraine a month ago saying he had to “protect people who for eight years have been subjected to humiliation and genocide by the Kiev regime”. He also said Ukraine was an artificial construct and an “inalienable part” of Russian history and culture.
Georgy Muradov, deputy premier of Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014, said that “our brothers in the southern regions of Ukraine controlled by the Russian Armed Forces”, notably the Kherson region, Melitopol and areas bordering the Sea of Azov, “have already begun to gradually use roubles, refusing to pay in hryvnia”.
“People’s spirits have been lifted as they feel at home once more in historical Russia,” Muradov said, according to RIA.
Russia has yet to take control of any major Ukrainian city, though it has seized much of Ukraine’s southeastern shoreline, from which thousands have fled. Kyiv and Western countries dismiss the idea that Ukraine’s leaders have perpetrated or planned genocide against primarily Russian-speaking communities.
In smaller cities such as Kherson, groups of residents have staged regular rallies to protest against Russian occupation and show their support for the government in Kyiv. Read full story
Muradov did not explain whether it was still possible to trade across the front line with parts of Ukraine using hryvnias. It was not possible to verify his statements independently.
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