Hoping to salvage their savings as Crimea stands on the brink, bank customers in the regional capital Simferopol formed long queues after reading that cash was in short supply and that withdrawals would be limited.
“It said on the Internet that we could only withdraw a certain amount of money. Hence this queue,” one man told euronews.
“They are scared about the changing political situation…that the banks will close,” a woman said. “I am also trying to protect myself, because my savings have lost value. What was 1,000 dollars before is now worth 800, so we have already lost out.”
Ukraine’s Central Bank has moved to reassure people that banks in Crimea are operating normally. But if, as expected, the region votes to break away, it is set to ditch the Ukrainian hryvnia after Sunday’s referendum, in favour of the Russian rouble.