KYIV: Ukraine’s central bank unveiled a commemorative banknote on Thursday to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion, with one side depicting three soldiers raising the national flag. The other side of the 20-hryvnia ($0.54) note features an image of two hands tied with tape, an apparent allusion to alleged war crimes Kyiv has accused Russian forces of committing in Ukraine. Moscow has denied the allegations. “To mark the anniversary of the war, we decided to launch a commemorative banknote which will depict on a small piece of paper a year of emotions, patterns, content and iconic things,” Andriy Pyshnyi, governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, said during a presentation at the central bank in Kyiv.
The central bank has worked hard since the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 last year to keep the economy afloat and maintain stability. Last summer, it pegged the hryvnia at 36.57 to the dollar, and it has intervened regularly on the foreign exchange market to support the currency.
Thanks to billions of dollars in foreign aid from Western partners, Ukraine’s hard currency reserves have grown to nearly $30 billion, slightly higher than at the start of the war. Ukraine has also imposed sanctions on Russian financial institutions.
Pyshnyi said the new note, which contains innovative security features, will have a circulation of 300,000.
Central bank officials said it took about eight months to design and produce the note, and the bank plans a series of commemorative notes to provide a visual record of the war They said they were already planning new notes to commemorate victory and Ukraine’s reconstruction.
“During this year, Ukrainians have realised their force, their significance, their ability not only to withstand but also to win, to win without forgiving a single military crime, a single ruined house,” Pyshnyi said. “This victory will be at a very high price but it will happen and it will be ours.”