Pro-Russian separatists have targeted Privatbank, after its
co-owner, billionaire Igor Kolomoisky, was appointed by the new
government head of the nearby Dnipropetrovsk region and swiftly
announced a $10,000 bounty on the heads of Russian "saboteurs".
Rebels, who say they want independence from Kiev, set fire to a
branch in the town of Mariupol in the Donetsk region late on
Saturday and raided a security truck last week in Horlivka, south of
the region's main rebel stronghold.
"In the current circumstances we cannot and do not have the right to
make people go to work in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where
armed people break into bank branches and seize security vans in the
towns," Privatbank said in a statement.
It said its clients could access their accounts via the Internet and
mobile devices, use their cards in shops and make cashless
transactions at self-service terminals.
"Over the last 10 days, 38 ATMs, 24 branches of Privatbank and 11
cash collection vans have suffered arson, assault and wanton
destruction in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk," it said, adding
that the bank processes more than 400,000 pensions and other social
benefits for 220,000 people in both regions.
Kolomoisky, Ukraine's fourth richest man, according to Forbes
magazine, has become a hate figure for the pro-Russian separatists
after he said he would give $10,000 to Ukrainian troops for every
"saboteur" handed over.
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The leader of the regional militia in Dnipropetrovsk, which borders
Donetsk, also said $1,000 would be paid for a rifle, $1,500 for a
machinegun and $2,000 for a grenade-launcher.
Dnipropetrovsk has been quiet since separatists started taking
control of wide swathes of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions last
month, in an operation blamed on Moscow by Kiev's new pro-Western
Russia, which has long considered Slavic Ukraine an extension of its
own country, denies any involvement in the unrest, saying Russian
speakers are simply protecting their rights from attacks by a
(reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Natalia Zinets, editing by Nigel
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