Highlights

  • Viral, unverified videos of long queues outside banks, ATMS in Russia
  • Viral posts claim panic in Russia after economic sanctions over Ukraine war
  • In recent move, West cut off some Russian banks from SWIFT system

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The decision to partially cut Russia off from the SWIFT system has been referred to as an economic nuclear strike.

Economic sanctions might not have deterred Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they seem to have sparked panic among common Russians.

Videos emerging online suggest that Russian citizens have been queuing up outside banks and ATMs to withdraw cash.

The latest move of Western allies to exclude some Russian banks from global payments system SWIFT seems to have created considerable alarm in the country. It has been referred to as an economic nuclear strike.

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SWIFT is an acronym which stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. It is described as a secure platform for financial entities like banks to exchange information about cross-border transactions like money transfers. It has over 11,000 banks in over 200 countries as members.

Exclusion from SWIFT is expected to adversely affect the Russian economy by reportedly making banks rely on older technologies like phones for transactions.

Russia has reportedly been working on an alternative to SWIFT, called SPFS or System for Transfer of Financial Messages, for several years, but its coverage would be limited.

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