The news ticker at the SIA-PRESS news agency building in Surgut, western Siberia, was recently hacked to display the following message: “100 roubles to the dollar. You a**hole. Putin is a c**t and a thief.”
Media outlet SOTA published a video of the ticker on its Telegram channel:
SIA-Press founder Taras Samborsky commented on the incident:
“The evidence that this is a planned provocation comes not only from the video recording made by an outside observer, but also from the timing of the hack: today, August 13, coincided with a summer festival happening in the heart of Surgut. The attackers clearly made a point to publish the controversial message as citizens were leaving the public event.”
On August 14, the value of the US dollar surpassed 100 roubles on the Moscow Exchange — the highest since March 2022 — while the euro exchange rate rose to 109.5 roubles.The dollar has notably gone up by more than 8 roubles this August alone.
In response to the currency fluctuations, Russian banks are gradually discontinuing the acceptance of cash dollars and euros. Among the list of systemically important banks, 11 out of 13 have halted the acceptance of these currencies through ATMs. Notably, Austria-based Raiffeisen Bank ceased accepting the dollar and euro via cash desks starting from August 1.
Since the beginning of the year, the rouble has fallen by more than 30% against the dollar, while the euro is firmly entrenched above 100 roubles.
In a recent piece for The Insider, economist Igor Lipsits explained why the rouble is destined to keep declining, and why the temporary resolution of Russia’s currency market crisis was short-lived.