Experts see the introduction of the Russian currency as part of a plan to incorporate the city into Russian spheres.
In everyday life report From British intelligence, they wrote that Russia will introduce the use of the Russian ruble in the occupied city of Kherson in southeastern Ukraine on Sunday.
The city’s newly appointed administrative head, Kirill Stremousov, said the transition from the Ukrainian hryvnia to the Russian ruble would take up to four months, state Reuters.
– It has important symbolic value, in a form that reminds residents of who governs, said Gregory Ferguson-Cradler, professor of economic history at Innlandet University College.
Researchers see the move as part of making the region more dependent on Russia, and making it difficult to break away.
Exchange in protest
British intelligence shows that there is an intention by Russia to exert strong political and economic influence over the long term.
Even before its introduction, there were reports that the ruble was being used on a smaller scale in the city, which has now been occupied for 60 days.
Some have experienced payments in rubles, and some have received their pension payments in Russian currency, according to BBC.
– Currently, there is still a currency exchange system operating in the city. If I get paid in rubles, I go and exchange it for the hryvnia, I think someone else will do the same. This is a small protest, Kherson resident Olga told the British broadcaster.
Trust in alternative banking systems
Ukrainian mayor Kherson, who has now been ousted by Russian authorities, believes the introduction of the ruble is impossible, he told the BBC.
He explained that the only functioning banking system in the region was Ukraine, and that it was impossible to withdraw the Russian ruble.
Nupi researcher Jakub Godzimirski, who is an expert on Russia’s foreign and security policy, believes Kholykaiev is right, but himself is confident that Russia will go to great lengths to build up the ruble in the area.
– It would not surprise me if Russia removed a large ruble from Russia and set up an alternative bank in Kherson, he said.
Godzimirski sees the introduction of Russia’s own currency in the city as a means to further consolidate his control in the area, citing Donetsk and Luhansk as similar examples.
– I think they have the same plan here: First they introduce the Russian currency, then they hold a referendum, then the local government says they want to be a kind of independent state, which then becomes part of Russia, he said.
Kherson is the largest city controlled by Russia since the outbreak of war.
Nupi researchers point out that the city is strategically important for securing water supplies to Crimea and for carrying out plans to build a land bridge between the Donbas and Crimea.
The British Ministry of Defense wrote that lasting control of Kherson and its transport network would enhance Russia’s ability to sustain its advances north and west, and strengthen Russia’s control of Crimea.
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