January 27, 2023

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Ukrainian government after Dagbladet's disclosure:-

Ukrainian government after Dagbladet’s disclosure:-

We will respond clearly to these potential violations of international sanctions.

This is what Oleksandr Bornyakov, State Secretary of Ukraine’s Ministry of Digitization, told Dagbladet. He is the Deputy Minister of Digitalization of Ukraine Mikhajlo Fedorov – who, in turn, is the country’s Deputy Prime Minister.

Borniakov reacts strongly to Dagbladet revealed that bitcoin from the Russian hacker group Killnet – which, among other things, attacked the Norwegian authorities – had moved via the major cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in the British Virgin Islands..

Russia is committing a real genocide in Ukraine. There is no room for companies to be “neutral”. Even if technology itself is neutral, Borniakov says, the people behind tech companies shouldn’t be either.

Simple exchange: In three years, nearly 50 Norwegian companies and municipalities have suffered data breaches by various Russian hacker gangs. Correspondent: Christina H. Corneliussen / Dagbladet TV
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Strong indicators

He says that it is difficult to prevent Russian hackers from using open technical solutions. But he says it’s important to make it as difficult as possible for groups like Killnet and other members of the Russian cyber army.

Reaction: The foreign minister, Oleksandr Bornyakov, said Ukraine would take action after Dagbladet’s revelations. Photo: David ‘Dee’ Delgado/Reuters/NTB
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As with all open technologies, Russian hacking groups can also use cryptocurrency. While this in itself does not diminish the value of blockchain technology, there are increasingly strong indications that some cryptocurrency exchanges are actively working with Russian clients to evade sanctions, says Borniakov.

He did not name any companies. Moreover, he says:

– If a company aims to conduct its business ethically, then the company itself must prioritize peace and morality – not support the Russian war machine, no matter how that happens.

Close on: Minister of Digitization Mykhailo Fedorov is the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine.  Here he represents the country at a reconstruction conference in Switzerland.  Photo: Fabrice Cofrini/AFP/NTB

Close on: Minister of Digitization Mykhailo Fedorov is the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine. Here he represents the country at a reconstruction conference in Switzerland. Photo: Fabrice Cofrini/AFP/NTB
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clear sound

He otherwise brags about the cryptocurrency sector’s stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but also points an accusing finger:

– A number of Ukrainian crypto companies have suspended their business with Russia, completely without pressure from us. Many of them have instituted their own sets of “sanctions” – which also go further than authorities’ penalties do, says Borniakov.

Some major crypto companies have disabled the accounts of their most important Russian clients and scaled back their operations in Russia in line with EU sanctions. This way of thinking should be followed by all cryptocurrency companies, until Russia itself ends the brutal and illegal war against Ukraine.

– It does not launder money

Bitfinex was provided with the Ukraine data, but did not want to comment further. The company’s communications director, Shel Kohli, explained to Dagbladet that the company believes that Killnet has not had the opportunity to launder money through cryptocurrency exchanges.

– There was no direct communication between Killnet and our cryptocurrency exchange. He says Killnet has not had the opportunity to launder money with us.

– We have a number of procedures that we can implement if we suspect someone is using our Platform for criminal activity. We also have the option of freezing funds or depriving someone of their accounts.

However, Kohli confirmed that “many” of the transactions originating from Killnet were done through Bitfinex.

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