Paper Money

Monday Morning Brief for Feb. 28, 2022: Russia invades Ukraine

The Bank of Russia in 2017 issued a 200-ruble note with design elements from occupied Crimea, a decision that angered officials in Ukraine, where the notes are banned from use. What will the future bring as a result of the 2022 invasion?

Original image courtesy of Bank of Russia.

Russia’s long-anticipated and unjustified invasion of Ukraine has outraged much of the world, exacerbated the troubled relationship between Russia’s Putin and leaders of the Western world, led to civilian deaths as a result of Russian attacks, and roiled economic markets.

Russia has long resented Ukraine’s independent nationhood, gained during the breakup of the former Soviet Union. Despite protests from leaders around the world, Russia president Vladimir Putin has over the years made no secret of his desire to eliminate any hint of independence by the former Soviet state, launching its initial military action eight years ago.

Coin World explained in news coverage in 2019, “The Crimean Peninsula was annexed by the Russian Federation from Feb. 20 to March 26, 2014, and since then has been administered as two Russian federal subjects — the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.”

Why did Coin World cover the 2014 invasion? Russia has issued various coins and paper money celebrating the act viewed as illegal by much of the world.

As Coin World reported in 2017, the Bank of Russia announced on Oct. 12 of that year that new bank notes with face values of 200 and 2,000 rubles were entering circulation.

Coin World reported then, “One of the subjects of the green 200-ruble note is Crimea, officially part of Ukraine, but the subject of an internationally condemned Russian land-grab in 2014. The face of the note has symbols of the city of Sevastopol, particularly its Monument to the Scuttled Ships. This is a landmark since 1905 when it was constructed on the 50th anniversary of the deliberate sinking of 15 ships to block the harbor from the English, French, and Turkish navies during the Crimean War.” The National Bank of Ukraine in response forbade the use of Russian notes that featured such scenes.

In 2019, Russia issued a circulating commemorative 5-ruble coin that the Russian central bank said was to commemorate “the 5th Anniversary of the Referendum on the status of Crimea and Sevastopol and Crimea’s reunion with Russia.”

Russia’s acts have horrified the world. What new coins and notes will the rogue nation issue to “celebrate” its condemned actions, and will coins and notes of a “free” Ukraine become more collectible?
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