UNFOUNDED: Because of the war in Ukraine, people will be sent to electronic banking concentration camps
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UNFOUNDED: Because of the war in Ukraine, people will be sent to electronic banking concentration camps

29 April 2022
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Verification within Meta’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program

In this video, Ostap Stakhiv spreads information about the war in Ukraine, claiming that:

  • The war in Ukraine will be followed by a global conflict and famine. During the famine, they will confiscate cash from people, introduce electronic money, and send people to electronic banking concentration camps.
  • The Diia app is a tool to create electronic banking concentration camps. The app has access to your contacts and bank accounts, and those who lost income due to hostilities had better not install it to receive financial aid (eSupport).

We have repeatedly refuted false statements made by Ostap Stakhiv. We mentioned him and other Covid dissidents in our article dedicated to the first anniversary of the infodemic.

However, these statements are manipulative and unfounded.

Cash will not be withdrawn from circulation, and electronic money increases access to financial services.

Speaking about an electronic banking concentration camp, Ostap Stakhiv probably means putting in effect the law “On Payment Services.”

This law regulates a broader number of payment services than previous regulations. It governs the issuance of digital money by the National Bank of Ukraine and introduces the concept of open banking in Ukraine. It enters into force on August 1, 2022.

The new law is not about withdrawing cash from circulation. It only makes electronic money legal tender in Ukraine but does not deprive cash money of this status.

The law harmonizes Ukraine’s financial legislation with that of the EU. It also expands the number of payment services and the range of payment service providers. Open banking introduced by the new law makes payment services more transparent and provides companies with license-based access to financial information about bank customers. This creates more opportunities for businesses. For instance, to understand whether a borrower would be able to repay the mortgage, there is no need to collect a lot of certificates. All this can be done through open banking.

It is unfounded to claim that introducing electronic money will lead to creating electronic banking concentration camps. After all, electronic money enhances access to financial services, makes it cheaper to remit, reduces corruption risks, and curbs criminal financial schemes and tax evasion. Using electronic cash empowers people, not restricts them. Sweden and the Bahamas have the experience of introducing electronic money.

As a result of war, famine is possible in emerging countries where people spend most of their income on food, e.g., in the Middle East or North Africa. However, it is unfounded to claim that cash will be confiscated from people during a famine.

The government assures that Ukraine has sufficient food stocks, allowing it to avoid food shortages. Even if production stops, Ukraine has reserves large enough to meet its needs. Ukraine’s wheat stocks will last two years, oil stocks five years, and maize stocks one and a half years.

The Diia app does not store personal data.

The Diia app does not store personal data. It only displays information from other state registers as requested by identified citizens. In addition, during registration, Diia users grant access to information from the bank to identify the person, namely their full name, passport, ITIN, phone number, and email address. However, Diia does not request access to credit card information from the bank, nor is it provided by users. Therefore, the app does not contain information of this nature. Diia does not get to your contacts or bank accounts or help create electronic banking concentration camps.

About 5 million Ukrainians applied to receive financial aid of 6,500 hryvnias under the eSupport program.

The statements made in the video by Ostap Stakhiv repeat the fake stories disseminated earlier. VoxCheck has already debunked false reports, writing that:

  • Introducing electronic hryvnia is not about gaining control over the population, and cash will not be withdrawn from circulation;
  • Electronic concentration camps cannot be created using digital IDs and cashless money.

Attention

The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations