A Ukrainian resistance group makes counterfeit rubles notes to protest occupation.
Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume IX, Number 7, August 1, 2023)
Hundreds of 50 Ruble notes are appearing across the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine - from Melitopol, Berdyansk and Tomak in southern Ukraine all the way to Sevastopol and Yalta in Crimea.
But these are no ordinary Russian banknotes.
In fact, they are part of a campaign designed to undermine the Russian occupation by a Ukrainian, all-female and non-violent resistance group that emerged in the Russian-controlled city of Melitopol late last year.
Applying intricate graphic design skills, the women have doctored the traditional 50 Ruble note to turn what was once a tool of Russian oppression into a symbol of Ukrainian defiance, carrying a powerful message to any of the occupiers who may think they are lucky to stumble across the 'free money'.
The group is called Mavka, after the female forest spirit from Ukrainian and Russian folklore and mythology. Mavka is a long-haired woman, typically seen as a temptress figure who lures men into the woods and to their deaths.
Mavka is using its activists on the ground to spread the bank notes at great personal risk. If caught they could be arrested, imprisoned or worse.
At the centre of the note – in its traditional form – stands a female figure: the Monument of Neva, that sits in St Petersburg, seen holding a sceptre.
But the activists have turned the sceptre into perhaps the ultimate symbol of the Ukrainian nation: the Trident (tryzub). The figure has also been given a floral headdress, in the Ukrainian style, and carries the familiar facial features of the Mavka character.
The work of Mavka's activists is now spreading throughout Ukrainian online spaces. The group's Telegram is filled with photos of the notes in key points around the occupied towns and cities – with messages of support from Ukrainians.
One activist took a photo of one of the Mavka notes right in front of the National Bank of Russia in Simferopol in occupied Crimea. 'Ukrainian women are giving their verdict on the Orcs. Support the women's resistance movement!' read one comment.
'My awe at the bravery of these women,' read another.
To read the complete article, see:
EXCLUSIVE Forced into dumping Ukrainian currency when the Russian occupiers move in, a fearless all-female Ukrainian resistance group is circulating counterfeit rubles with a VERY direct message that could cost them their lives
Wayne Homren, Editor
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