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28 Jun 2022

Heorhiy Shabayev, Natalie Sedletska & Kyrylo Ovsyaniy, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

New report documents evidence of Gazprombank paying salaries to Russian soldiers deployed in Ukraine

Investigation: Free From Western Sanctions, A Russian Bank Helps Fund The Invasion Of Ukraine, 28 June 2022

... A new report by Schemes, an investigative unit of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, documents a wide range of evidence showing that a substantial number of the Russian soldiers and security-force members who have been deployed to Ukraine have received their regular military pay and combat bonuses via Gazprombank.

... [E]vidence gathered by Schemes shows that Gazprombank, which in 2016 reported issuing a bank card bearing a star symbol and the words Army of Russia, has ties with the military that go deeper than the payment of wages and combat bonuses.

Since the February invasion of Ukraine, Gazprombank representatives have attended ceremonies held by military units around Russia marking the anniversary of their formation and other milestones.

In April, an officer of the bank met with the wives of servicemen from a military unit based in Naro-Fominsk, outside Moscow, some of whom have been part of the invasion force. The topic was social support for military families, the repayment of loans, and the registration of debt deferrals.

Moreover, Gazprombank may also be in use as a conduit for payments for military equipment used by Russian forces in the assault on Ukraine.

The Ukrainian defense intelligence department said in April that payments for military equipment purchased for the 47th Guards Tank Division, a Russian unit that is involved in the fighting, were made through two banks, one of which was Gazprombank.

Gazprombank did not respond to a request for comment from Schemes on the bank’s cooperation with The Russian Defense Ministry.