(Reuters) – The Russian-installed administration of Ukraine’s Kherson region said on Saturday that it had begun changing locally circulated Ukrainian hryvnia currency into Russian roubles, with hryvnia circulation in Moscow-controlled areas of the region to end on Jan. 1.
In a video published on Telegram by the region’s Moscow-appointed administration, Andrei Peretonkin, head of the Russian central bank’s local branch, said: “For the sake of the convenience of residents and to allow for a smoother integration of the region into the Russian economic space, this week banks in Kherson region began currency exchange operations.”
Previously, the Russian-installed administration had said that both the rouble and hryvnia would be accepted in Kherson region.
Russian forces took control of most of Kherson region in the early days of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, and declared it annexed to Russia in September after a referendum condemned by Ukraine and Western countries.
Less than two months later, Russian forces withdrew from Kherson city under pressure from a Ukrainian counteroffensive, while continuing to hold most of the region’s territory.