Binance Freezes Russian Gunmaker’s Crypto Assets

Vladislav Lobaev, the producer of Lobaev Arms, had his crypto wallet frozen by Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world. Reported to be an enthusiastic supporter of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lobaev has regularly been asking subscribers to his Telegram channel to donate money so that Lobaev can provide more ammunition for the Russian troops in Ukraine. 

According to media reports, on his Telegram channel, Lobaev has been actively supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and even re-named his channel “Lobaev Z,” adding the letter Russian troops put on their vehicles, which became an unofficial symbol of Russia during this war. Lobaev praises Russian troops, analyzes weapons used by the Ukrainian army, and badmouths Ukraine, NATO, and the LGBT community.

Lobaev’s son Evgeny confirmed to the media house that Lobaev’s Binance account was frozen.

While the Ukrainian government didn’t confirm or deny it, a Binance spokesperson said, “Any government or law enforcement agency in the world can make lawful requests regarding users in their jurisdiction provided these are accompanied by the proper legal authority. However, Binance also protects its users and reserves the right to reject law enforcement requests that don’t stand up to legal scrutiny, where no legal purpose is served or there are flaws in the investigative approach. We apply the same level of scrutiny to requests as any leading bank, financial institution or multinational company would.”

Ukraine Blocked Funds from Crypto Wallets Aiding Russian Army

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) recently seized and blocked a Russian citizen’s virtual crypto wallet, alleging that the citizen was sponsoring Russia’s war in Ukraine. In a press release, the SSU said, “This man calls himself a volunteer and, since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, has been collecting money for the invading army.”

The department said that the arrest was possible due to the evidence gathered by the SSU and the assistance of foreign crypto companies.

The SSU has blocked over $19,500 accumulated in the Russian citizen’s account. “These funds have been seized, and a decision on their tracking and transfer to Ukrainian jurisdiction is pending,” said the SSU. 

The SSU said that it blocked the illegal mechanism together with the National Police under the procedural supervision of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

Accused Used Funds to Purchase Military Gear

Furthermore, the SSU found that the investigation established that the ‘volunteer’ directed a significant portion of donations to purchase military gear for the militants of the terrorist organizations L/DNR.

“Since the start of the invasion, he used social networks to promote the idea of financial assistance to illegal armed groups,” the department stated. “For this, he created relevant photo and video content, distributed similar posts of his associates, and reported how the collected funds had been used.”

Citing Article 258-5.1 of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the SSU said that the terrorists’ sponsor was notified of suspicion of financing terrorism.

On the Flipside

  • Despite the bear market, crypto has become an essential tool in Ukraine’s defense, providing flexibility and speed.

Why You Should Care

The Ukrainian government has warned that a similar fate awaits other Russian ‘volunteers’ who sponsor the war in Ukraine.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial legal or tax advice. Trading Forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs poses a considerable risk of loss

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Author

Akriti is a Zurich-based reporter, focused on the political, regulatory, and legislative developments around crypto. She is a business journalist with over six years of experience working as a correspondent for organizations like Channel NewsAsia and Bloomberg TV India. In that time, Akriti has covered news in the finance, pharma, and state sectors.