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Mastercard, the American payment services firm, has disconnected Russian financial institutions from its payment network, citing sanctions imposed by the US government for Russia’s participation in the invasion of Ukraine.

According to the notification, Mastercard’s top objective remains to offer a safe environment for employees who may be stuck in the region for the duration of the situation.

Related penalties have been issued to compel Russia’s leadership, led by President Vladimir Putin, to take more steps to resolve the country’s deteriorating diplomatic ties with Ukraine.

Aside from fines, Mastercard announced a $2 million donation to organizations such as the Red Cross, Save the Children and the company’s employee assistance fund for humanitarian relief. The Mastercard gesture follows similar investments and donations made by prominent firms and people in the digital currency ecosystem, including the Binance exchange.

The Russian sanctions have impacted the Ruble, which has continued to lose value versus other sovereign fiat currencies. However, the Ruble has surged in trade with cryptocurrencies, indicating that most Russians are adopting these digital assets to avoid Mastercard and other penalties.

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