CashMoney in physical form such as banknotes and coins. More and Emergency Preparedness
The Ukrainian government’s June 2021 brochure “How to Prepare for an Emergency” advised civilians to get cash in preparation for war. It recommended Ukrainians to keep “a supply of food, water, medicine, cash, and the things you need” at home and “moneyFrom the Latin word moneta, nickname that was given by Romans to the goddess Juno because there was a minting workshop next to her temple. Money is any item that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular region, country or socio-economic context. Its onset dates back to the origins of humanity and its physical representation has taken on very varied forms until the appearance of metal coins. The banknote, a typical representati... More (bank cards and cash; distribute banknotes to different places” in their survival kits. In 2018, amid tensions with Russia, Sweden also advised its citizens to save “cash in small denominations” in case “paymentA transfer of funds which discharges an obligation on the part of a payer vis-à-vis a payee. More cards and cash machines are not working.”
- “We’ve been living under the pressure that something’s coming. We understood that it’s happening. I’m kind of afraid, afraid for my family,” said Yevhen Rachkovsky, 25, an Odessa filmmaker who was packing a bag with documents, cash, and medicine when his sister called him to warn him about Russian strikes.
- “Remembering the advice of experienced people who went through the war in Georgia and Chechnya, I began to collect the so-called ‘alarm suitcase’ or a backpack in which you need to put most important items. First of all, an ID, a supply of food for three days, a bottle of water, several spare changes of underwear and socks, personal hygiene items, soap, medicines, including dressings and antibiotics, some cash, bank cards, a knife, a flashlight and spare batteries for it, matches or a lighter, a charger for a mobile phone,” said Iurii Mykhaylov, a Ukrainian economist and agricultural journalist in Kyiv.
Russia’s Invasion Prompts a Run for Cash
On February 23, a day before Russia’s invasion, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) said that banks or exchangeThe Eurosystem comprises the European Central Bank and the national central banks of those countries that have adopted the euro. More offices had adequate cash holdings to meet the public’s demand. Foreign cash deliveries were also proceeding as planned. After Russia attacked Ukraine by air, land, and sea on February 24, thousands lined up at gas stations and ATMs to flee the country’s cities.
- “There are huge queues outside the supermarkets near my home and at ATMS, many of which have run out of money. Some petrol stations too have now run out and closed,” said Marta Shokalo, the BBC Ukraine editor.
- “I saw long queues at the pharmacy and shops and even at the ATM machines but there was no panic,” said a father of two children in Kyiv.
- “At about 11 a.m., I went to the grocery store myself and saw a big line. It turned out that this was not a queue for entering the store, but for an ATM – people were withdrawing cash from their bank cards,” said Iurii Mykhaylov from Kyiv.
- “I have noticed that many people are trying to get money from ATMs. There are queues there and a bunch of people immediately went to shops to stock up on basic products,” said Iliya Kusa, an international relations analyst.
- “It’s totally normal that this would happen. I expected this queue. This is just how people react,” said Svetlana Locotova, as she waited in line to use an ATM in Kyiv with her 12-year-old daughter, Margarita.
- “They sent us a message and said come collect all your valuable today, tomorrow we will be closed,” said Christina Kornienko, waiting in line outside a bank in Lviv.
People also rushed to withdraw cash from ATMs in the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine.
- Dozens of people waited by an ATM in Kramatorsk before it ran out of cash.
- “It’s panic, don’t you see? They’ve gotten exactly what they wanted, the ones on the other side – panic and destabilization,” said Yevheni Balai, standing in line outside a closed bank in Slovyansk, a small town in Donetsk.
- Lyubov Vasilyevna, 75, recited a poem while waiting in line to withdraw funds from an empty ATM in Slovyansk, having spent her last bitIn computers, the basic unit of digital information; contraction of BInary digiT. More of cash on loaves of bread: “I’m so looking forward to peace / But it is coming to us so slowly.”
Cash remains very scarce.
- “There’s no escape. Trains have stopped working. Most supermarkets are closed and those that are open are running very low on food stocks. ATMs are not working and everyone is desperately looking for money,” said Lolade Lawal, a Nigerian medical student in Sumy.
- “There is little food. I couldn’t access cash for two days now. Every ATM on the road has no cash,” said Somto Orah, a Nigerian student in Kyiv.
- “We dont have food supplies. What will we do now? No ATM is dispensing cash,” said Shana Shaji, a 21-year-old Indian student hiding inside a subway station in Kharkiv.
- “People were panic buying, supermarkets ran out of supplies. Foreign nationals faced more problems because ATMs were not dispensing cash,” said Kanishk, a first-year medical student in Lviv.
- “I just have an air rifle, the cash machines don’t work, and there is no organization,” said Alexander Gorbenko, 54, as he said goodbye to his wife and 11-year old daughter at the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing to Poland.
- “It’s so awful what has happened,” said Diana, 28, who stocked up on food and withdrew cash from an ATM with her mother Alla Pichkur, 49, in the hours before Russian forces sieged Kyiv.
- In Kyiv’s Dorohozhychi metro station, “up the escalators, near the entrance to the metro, a man minds five cell phones and one charger pack, plugged into sockets that used to supply a group of ATM machines, relics of pre-war Ukraine now empty of cash,” wrote New York Review reporter Tim Judah.
NBU Secures the Cash Supply and Promotes Cashless Payments
The NBU moved to ensure the continuity of banking services and the cash supply on the invasion morning. On February 25, the NBU said that “banks to the extent possible replenish ATMs with cash. The NBU, in its turn, is supplying banks with cash and liquidityDescribes the extent to which assets or rights can be converted into cash without causing a significant decrease in the asset’s price. Accordingly, liquidity is often inversely proportional to the profitability of the asset and involves the trade-off between the selling price and the time needed to convert it to cash. In finance, cash is considered the most liquid asset and cash is sometimes used as a synonym for liquidity (e.g. cash reserves; cash pooling…). More.”
- “Banks shall continue to operate […] ATMs shall be supplied with cash without any restrictions, [… and] the NBU shall provide unlimited cash support,” said the NBU in a martial law resolution.
- The NBU established a limit on “cash withdrawals to 100,000 Ukrainian hryvnias (UAH) per day,” a prohibition on “the release of cash from client accounts in foreign currencyThe money used in a particular country at a particular time, like dollar, yen, euro, etc., consisting of banknotes and coins, that does not require endorsement as a medium of exchange. More,” and a moratorium on “cross-border foreign currency payments.” It ordered banks to stop “debit transactions on the accounts of the residents of the state that effected the armed aggression against Ukraine.”
- The NBU has encouraged Ukrainians to make cashless payments as they were “the safest and most reliable way to pay for goods and services in the current conditions.”
- “Under martial law, both cash use and cash collection, which are linked inextricably to cash circulation, pose additional risks to everyone,” said the NBU governor Kyrylo Schevchenko.
Cash and Relief Operations
“Do you want to wake up in the morning and understand you should go forever, not for one day, not for two days, forever, can you make such a decision in I don’t know, 10 minutes? To bring just a bit of water, just a bit of food, single clothes, documents, money, and go outside your home forever? Can you make such a decision?” said Denis Surko, a doctor at Dnipro Regional Children’s Hospital.
After Russia occupied Crimea in 2014, over 1.4 million Ukrainians were forced to relocate, with 734,000 residing in government-controlled areas as of September 2021. According to Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, as of March 2, 1 million Ukrainians have fled to countries including Poland, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia since the invasion started.
- Humanitarian and development consultant Thomas Byrnes estimates relief assistance to 7 million displaced people might cost $400 million a month, making it “the largest cash program ever undertaken by humanitarian actors.”
- “Preliminary reports show that the markets in Ukraine are still functioning, and we will therefore focus on reaching out with financial support to the most vulnerable families, so that they can secure for themselves what they most need in the face of the current crisis,” said Tiril Skarstein, head of media at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
- According to Elliptic, a blockchainAn unchangeable digital record where transactions are processed and verified by a network of independent computers rather than by a single referee. This decentralised structure has been described as an open distributed ledger. It supposedly enhances security as there is no single entity to be hacked. It also protects personal identity and guarantees that governments can’t block transactions or otherwise manipulate the payments space. The blockchain is the underlying technology supporting most ... More analytics firm, Ukrainian NGOs and volunteer groups raised over $46.7 million in crypto-asset donations as of March 2, 23:55 UTC.
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