The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) seized and blocked a cryptocurrency wallet used to fund the Russian military campaign in the country. The agency is working on tracking the funds and transferring them under Ukrainian jurisdiction, according to the SSU.

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Fast facts

  • According to a press release on Tuesday, this is the first time the SSU implemented a mechanism to block the crypto wallets of Russian citizens raising funds for the Russian army.
  • The SSU arrested a self-proclaimed Russian volunteer, blocking his crypto wallet that held over US$19,500 worth of cryptocurrency. They claim that the arrest was possible due to evidence gathered by the security service and the assistance of unnamed foreign crypto companies.
  • The SSU further states that the unidentified Russian citizen used a significant portion of the crypto donations to purchase military gear for the separatist fighters of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic (L/DNR). He raised crypto donations by running social media campaigns since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • The SSU ended its press release warning that “a similar fate awaits other Russian ‘volunteers’ who sponsor the war in Ukraine.”
  • Both sides of the conflict have been relying on crypto donations to aid their military efforts. On August 17, Ukraine spent US$54 million worth of crypto donations on war supplies. 
  • On the other side of the war, 54 pro-Russia groups have received over US$2.2 million worth of crypto donations by the end of July, mainly in Bitcoin and Ether, according to a Chainalysis report. Russia has also been sending record-high funds to crypto mixers since April 2022.

See related article: Crypto is playing a prominent role in the Ukraine War — on both sides of the conflict