FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the headquarters of Gazprom, in Moscow, June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine are said to be paid directly by Gazprom Bank. This was the result of research by the Ukrainian medium “Radio Svoboda”.

The journalists managed to locate Russian soldiers and their families who are said to have confirmed the payments by Gazprom Bank.

The research revealed that in addition to the salaries of the soldiers, so-called “combat allowances” for the war effort in Ukraine were also paid out by the Gazprom Bank. Like the energy company Gazprom, the bank is also largely state-owned.

The “Radio Swoboda” report is particularly explosive because the Gazprom Bank is only affected to a limited extent by Western sanctions – in contrast to other Russian banks such as VTB, the second largest state bank in Russia, or VEB, also state-owned, or Bank Rossii, the central bank of Russia.

The sanctions affect Gazprombank only with regard to the capital market, while payment transactions via Gazprombank are not fundamentally restricted by the sanctions.