Pro-Russian separatist claims crypto sanctions evasion is easy in Georgia

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A pro-Russian separatist has moved to Georgia, where he’s teaching Russians how to avoid sanctions and make an alleged profit through crypto trading.

22-year-old Deev Daniil Nikolayevich, who holds a Ukrainian passport, is labelled an “accomplice of terrorists and occupiers” on a database known as Peacemaker that researches crimes against Ukraine. According to a recent interview he gave with independent Georgian news outlet SOVA, he personally contacted the non-governmental organization and asked to be added to its watchlist.

Nikolayevich claims to be a propagandist and volunteer of the Donetsk People’s Republic — a separatist puppet state of Russia labelled as a terrorist organization by Ukraine. It occupies part of the war-torn country’s Donetsk Oblast territory and has since been occupied by Russia. He’s been photographed shaking hands with Denis Pushilin, the head of the DPR.

Reports indicate Nikolayevich fought for the Russians in Mariupol after its invasion of Ukraine. A photo posted on his now-deleted Instagram account show him in military clothes, albeit sans weapons. Another shows him spray-painting a moustache on a mural of Ukrainian soldiers, wearing a white armband, a common pro-Russian symbol.

Nikolayevich has since deleted his Instagram account, likely having changed his username (via SOVA).

Now, he’s moved to Georgia where he teaches Russians looking to avoid sanctions how to make a quick buck through crypto trading. Nikolayevich says he moved there by chance — he and a group of friends were on their way to Turkey when they realized there were profits to be made in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi.

Crypto tips from a pro-Russian separatist 

Using social media, Nikolayevich says he offers mediation services in conducting financial transactions with Georgian banks.

  • The country’s government has said it’s unable to impose economic sanctions against Russia because of “national interests,” yet also claims it complies with all sanctions.
  • A group of Ukrainian lawmakers say Russians are using Georgia to bypass Western sanctions, a claim it has not responded to.
  • Georgia has asked for fast-tracked EU membership, along with Ukraine and Moldova.

The 22-year-old’s advice includes making a trip to Tbilisi and meeting with the owners of exchange offices. Success depends on your communication style, Nikolayevich says. “You are either a guest and a friend, or a stupid Russian. So offer cooperation, but don’t be disrespectful.”

“In Georgia they say the limit to withdraw is $2K, I told them to go f*** themselves (literally) and withdrew $6K,” Nikolayevich bravely admitted on his Instagram story (via SOVA).

Read more: Russia hypothetically accepts Bitcoin for oil and gas — if you’re its ‘friend’

“People in Georgia are very pleasant and sociable, which makes life very easy without any politics,” the pro-Russian crypto enthusiast said.

According to his Telegram channel, Russian international money transfer companies Unistream and Golden Crown can be used to transfer rubles into dollars as long as you use a Georgian bank account. To make a profit, clients must then buy stablecoin Tether (USDT) or another cryptocurrency then sell it “on the stock exchange to a Russian card.” This, apparently, equals profit.

However, whether one should trust the get-rich-quick instructions of a self-titled terrorist sporting a fake Louis Vuitton fanny pack is another matter.

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