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Ukraine moves to nationalize Russian oligarch's bank

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 20, 2023 7:37 PM 2 min read
Mikhail Fridman attends the plenary session of the Congress of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) on the slidelines of Russian Business Week in Moscow, March 2017 (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
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The National Bank of Ukraine has submitted a proposal to the government on July 20 requesting the government nationalize the bank of Ukrainian-born Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman.

NBU Chairman Andriy Pyshnyi told a press briefing that the decision from the government on Fridman's Sense Bank, which until December 2022 was called Alpha Bank, is expected on Friday, July 21.

Services for bank users will work as usual and payments will be accepted without restrictions during a temporary administration period.

Investigative reporters discovered in May that his company Alpha Insurance Firm insures cars of Russian military fighting in Ukraine.

The company is also reported to provide services to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Main Office of Special Programs, which guards him. Another company Fridman co-owns, X5 Retail Group, also cooperates with the Russian military through the group's grocery chains.

Fridman, who was born in Lviv, is the founder of the Russian company Alpha Group. He is currently under international sanctions and was arrested in the U.K. in December 2022. He was released on bail on suspicion of fraud-related offenses.

On May 29, Ukraine's parliament adopted a bill allowing to nationalize banks owned by sanctioned individuals.

Investigative Stories from Ukraine: Companies of Russian oligarch Fridman allegedly support Russian war effort in Ukraine
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