Radicals brick up Russian bank branch in central Kiev (VIDEO)
Ukrainian radicals have built brick walls in front the entrance and windows of a Sberbank office in central Kiev on Monday, demanding that the Russian bank’s license is revoked.
The Sberbank office on Vladimirskaya Street in the Ukrainian capital was attacked by members of the Azov voluntary battalion and Right Sector radical group.
Several dozen activists, headed by Ukrainian parliament member Andrey Biletsky erected concrete blocks in front of the bank’s façade.
"We demand and we’ll pressure the government… to officially withdrawn the bank’s license,” Biletsky said as cited by NewsOne website, adding that a Russian bank “shouldn’t exist in Ukraine.” The radicals said that similar treatment awaits other Sberbank offices across Ukraine until the bank leaves the country.
Sberbank said in a statement that “the operation of the office at Vladimirskaya Street (Kiev) was temporarily halted due to security reasons. The bank has addressed the law enforcement over the incident. The rest of the bank’s offices are operating according to schedule.” Overnight, Sberbank ATMs were vandalized in several Ukrainian regions, with the perpetrators putting filler foam and stickers with anti-Russian slogans on their screens.
Meanwhile, Kiev is blaming Sberbank’s Ukrainian branch for providing services to passportholders of the self-proclaimed eastern Ukrainian republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Sberbank has denied the claims, telling Tass that providing services to holders of such passports was “out of question.”
Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman promised an “adequate response” if the accusations are proven, with the Ukrainian National Bank already talking about initiating sanctions.