Oleg Tsarev: Ukraine Blocked the Return of Funds Invested in Russian Banks in Ukraine

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The article below is Oleg Tsarev’s follow-up to his warning sounded in May, 2016, aimed at the Russian government concerning the actions inside Ukraine of the subsidiaries of Russian banks. After reading the material of Oleg below there is a danger, due to being uninformed about how the Russian banking sector works, of completely misinterpreting the conclusions made, and thus reading it as: “Russia funds the criminal actions in Donbass of the Kiev regime”. So, in order to possess an adequate understanding of the situation surrounding the operation of Russian banks and their subsidiaries in Ukraine, the following two supplementary back-dated translations (Topwar & Regnum) are provided, which highlight what in reality Sberbank is and offer a brief introduction to its owner – Herman Gref. It is highly recommended that these translations are read before proceeding to Oleg’s article.

Finally, it should also be noted that the US-created war in Ukraine is indeed a prime example of fourth generation warfare, where combat not only takes place on the battlefield, but also in cyberspace and in the sphere of economics.


Why is Sberbank actively contributing to the modernization of the Ukrainian military, and refuses to help pro-Russian refugees from Ukraine?

Despite the fact that Ukraine, under its current government, has actually become a State hostile to the Russian government, which conducts punisher operations against the pro-Russian South-Eastern regions, in Kiev and other major Ukrainian cities subsidiaries of Russian Sberbank continue to work. The banking business structure led by the domestic ultra-liberal Herman Gref, under the junta, not only decayed, but on the contrary – is developing successfully. Thus, according to the newspaper “Izvestia”, all seven of the Ukrainian subsidiaries of Sberbank of Russia show enviable profit.

As it turned out, the secret of the success of Herman Gref [an ethnic German whose parents were evicted from Donbass in 1941 – ed] is largely associated in Ukraine with large-scale credit projects. It turns out that the Russian Sberbank opened a credit line to governmental structures of Ukraine for the modernization of the Ukrainian military- industrial complex and re-equipping of the army. However, in the pursuit of profit, Herman Gref completely forgot that it concerns financing the enemy. Because, along with Western tranches, loans of Sberbank go towards the construction of new tanks and other weapons, with which the Armed Forces and the National Guard are fighting in Donbass against their own people. How many lives and destroyed homes are on the conscience of the creditors of the Kiev junta, we can only guess.

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By the way, Sberbank of Russia didn’t provide loans to pro-Russian refugees from the South-East of Ukraine. The Ukrainians who flee to Russia, the flow of which increases with each passing day, are helped by Federal and local governments, businesses, and ordinary Russians. While Sberbank of Herman Gref, who positions himself as the people’s bank, distanced himself from this mission. Moreover, according to the employers of the government of Viktor Yanukovych who fled from Kiev, Herman Gref at a personal meeting with them categorically refused even a request to return their investments in Moscow, which were left in deposits in the Kiev subsidiaries of the Sberbank.

“Herman Gref advised them to go to Kiev and to withdraw cash from deposits, assuring them that there won’t be any problems,” said one of the affected depositors of the Sberbank. “But to our objections that such travel is impossible for us for political reasons (we will be simply arrested as many of us are wanted by Avakov’s Ministry of Internal Affairs), Gref just shrugged his shoulders!”

Really: productive participation in the rise of the Ukrainian military-industrial complex and the associated positive attitude towards Sberbank and its head from the leadership of Ukraine and the West, don’t have any limitations like those the patriotic Russian companies and their leaders suffered. While Herman Gref is obviously made from different stuff and is from another team focused on Western Europe and the United States. This is indicated by the fact of Herman Gref’s entrance, in 2013, to the international council of the American Bank JP Morgan Chase. Note: the head of Sberbank of Russia appeared to be affiliated with the largest banking structure of the United States right before the Ukrainian crisis. Maybe that’s a coincidence. However, according to some experts, Gref went very far in the context of recent geopolitical events in order to not identify him as an agent of Western influence.

Thus, according to the known economist and consultant Vladislav Zhukovsky, “the election of Herman Gref to the Board of the largest not only in USA, but also in the world bank suggests that the transnational capital, the largest international financial institutions, and global corporations are very closely monitoring the situation in the Russian economy. They have their objective, from a commercial point of view, long-term and large-scale interests in Russia, and want to exert maximum influence on the domestic political and economic processes of our country. Gref as a person holding ultra-liberal views, a supporter of market-based voluntarism, is for JP Morgan Chase and world business sharks a mouthpiece and spokesman for global business,” said the expert.

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On May 29th, 2015, an annual meeting of shareholders of the credit organizations of Russia — Sberbank took place. Herman Gref, head of Sberbank, at the meeting said that the said credit institution will not be present on the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol. Supposedly, Washington announced sanctions against Russia and prohibits any commercial structures from working on the territory of the “annexed” Peninsula. For some unaware people, such a statement may seem shocking.

Because, ultimately, this is a “native” “Sberbank”, and not some “Goldman Sachs”. Citizens, even far from the world of finance, think that Sberbank is: a) an organization of Russia; b) an organization of the State; C) an organization that is governed by the laws, regulations, and other control mechanisms emanating from the State bodies of Russia.

However, it’s not so simple. For example, Sberbank is inadvertently called by the public a State credit institution only because the main (majority) shareholder is the Bank of Russia. To avoid any illusions, let’s remember that at the beginning of the Central Bank Law it states that the bank is not liable for the obligations of the State, and the State — not for the obligations of the Central Bank.

My forecast concerning the Ukrainian subsidiaries of Russian banks in Ukraine is now being implemented according to the worst scenario for Ukraine. Unfortunately, despite my warnings, the Russian banks were not ready for the challanges that were predictable. I wrote that the Russian banks gave about 30 billion dollars in credits to Ukraine. Russian companies invested in Ukraine another 30 billion dollars, and Russia will, most likely, lose all this money.

In my article “Russian State Banks Leave Ukraine” already on May 19th, 2016, I wrote that the money that Russia again sends for replenishment of the capital of subsidiaries of Russian banks in Ukraine will be plundered like the money that was sent earlier was plundered; that subsidiaries of Russian State banks, by their activity, not just ensure the functioning of the economy of Ukraine, thereby creating conditions for the ATO’s continuation, but also directly participate in financing the ATO and helping the ATO members.

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Here are quotes from my article of October 7th, 2016, “The Central Bank of the Russian Federation — the main sponsor of Ukraine?”

“According to estimates of the Russian Institute of Strategic Research (RISR), the national banks of Russia on average pour into the economy of Ukraine up to three billion dollars a year! Sberbank of Russia is especially active in sending money to Ukraine. In the last two years into the currency account of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) about six billion dollars arrived, under which the NBU could carry out the issuing of hryvnia and to patch the budgetary holes with it.

…If to consider the absolute figures, in the last two years the IMF, as the sponsor of the Ukrainian regime, even if it advances the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, it is insignificant.

At the same time in Ukraine, to pay off the credits to Russian banks today it is considered not only stupid, but also unpatriotic. Pay attention to how many political and economic problems the USA and IMF are solving by allocating money to Ukraine, unlike Russia.

According to official information, only the VTB bank for the first half of the year 2016 suffered a loss of 200 million dollars, but is not excluded that the real situation is much more deplorable”.

I wrote many times for the last two years that it is necessary to urgently make decisions on this issue because Ukraine will try to appropriate the property of Russia. Unfortunately, Russia appeared to be completely not ready for the actions that were taken by Ukraine in relation to subsidiaries of Russian banks. Ukraine forbade the return of the invested means in the Ukrainian subsidiaries of Russian banks. In such a way, banks already wasted their time, and it is thirty billion dollars. Russia will not see this money any more. The property of Russian companies still remains in Ukraine. A decision on this must be urgently made. It is obvious that over time they will nationalize this property too. And this is also thirty billion more dollars. It is necessary to resolve this issue urgently!

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