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MOSCOW, February 26, /ITAR-TASS/. During the latest wave of riots in Kiev, Ukrainians withdrew some 7 percent of all funds placed on bank accounts, or about 30 billion hryvnias ($3.1 billion), the new head of Ukraine’s National Bank, Stepan Kubiv, said Wednesday.
In his first interview since appointment as the bank’s head on February 24, Kubiv, 51, told Bloomberg that the withdrawals had peaked on February 18-20.
Kubiv said the outflow of funds from banks had slowed down in western and central regions of Ukraine and in the capital Kiev following last week’s effort to negotiate a deal to end the violence in Ukraine, where the president has been ousted following violent protests and parliament has taken over.
The official estimated overall deposits on Ukrainian bank accounts at some 430 billion hryvnias.
Last week, a number of Ukrainian banks imposed restrictions on cash withdrawal from ATMs due to a rush among bank clients. Some banks later resumed normal cash dispenser operations.
Anti-government protests, which sometimes grew violent, started in Ukraine in November 2013, when the authorities refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union. New riots began February 18 and eventually caused President Viktor Yanukovich to flee his residence outside Kiev.
The parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, appointed an interim head of state and set early presidential elections for May 25. Yanukovich called the developments “a coup.” His current whereabouts are unknown.
Acting Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said Yanukovich and other officials are on a wanted list for involvement in “mass murder” during protests.
According to Ukrainian Health Ministry data, 82 people have been killed and 787 have turned to Kiev’s medical institutions for help, with 527 of them hospitalized, since the start of the latest violence on February 18.