In the Russian-Ukrainian war, both sides in the conflict leveraged cryptocurrencies to gain the upper hand.
Pro-Ukraine causes have raised around $200 million through crypto donations, showing how borderless and uncensored money could be useful in an emergency.
But the Russian side also profited from crypto: a total of around $5 million was raised by pro-Kremlin groups and propaganda outlets during the invasion, as a recent Chainalysis revealed. report. These entities are small grassroots organizations that have used cryptography to circumvent Western financial sanctions.
“We are really looking for individual actors. So someone who is at the front, someone who is trying to help get more military resources to the front…things like body armor or drones,” explained Andrew Fierman, head of sanctions strategy at Chainalysis and one of the authors of the report. .
But these figures do not take into account ransomware attacks: as data from Chainalysis shows, in the year 2022, more than 450 million dollars were paid to these entities, the majority of which would be based in Russia. Some of them, like the cybercriminal group Conti, openly supported the Russian government in its war effort.
“When it comes to ransomware payouts, a lot of times bad actors have some sort of political agenda behind what they’re doing,” Fierman pointed out.
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