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Central bankers in bunkers keep Ukraine's war economy afloat

By Volodymyr Verbyany and Michael Winfrey

15 Feb 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

It's been a challenging 12 months for all monetary chiefs, but nothing compares with trying to run a financial system from a bomb shelter. Ukraine's central bankers tell Bloomberg how they've fared.

The deputy governor of Ukraine's central bank woke early on Feb. 24 to a phone call from his mother, who was abroad. Her flight back to Kyiv had been canceled. She'd also seen news reports that Russian tanks had crossed the border.

Minutes later, Serhiy Nikolaychuk was racing to the office for an emergency meeting. Thus began a year in which he and his colleagues - more accustomed to supervising banks and targeting inflation from the peaceful confines of a boardroom - would find themselves managing a war economy by pulling monetary policy levers as much in hope as belief.

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