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What is the currency of Ukraine, how much is the hryvnia worth and how has its exchange rate changed?

Ukraine's currency has been pretty weak since 2008 but it was symbolic of the break with its Soviet past when it was introduced in 1996.

A protester hold a giant Ukrainian flag during a rally against Russia's military invasion on Ukraine, in Belgrade on March 20, 2022.
Vladimir ZivojinovicAFP

Ukraine's currency is called the hryvnia, spelled in Cyrillic as гривня. The symbol of the currency is this ₴ and is classified as UAH.

Before 1996, the currency of Ukraine was the karbovanets. This currency had been in place since 1917 but was struck by hyperinflation in the early 1990s at the fall of the Soviet union. Hyperinflation is an economic instance where inflation gets to such a rate that it becomes nigh impossible to control. Money becomes worthless.

In the first two weeks of the existence of the hryvnia, the karbavonets was almost entirely replaced. Following the problems with the inflation of its predecessor, the hryvnia has had three denominations of currency that are no longer in circulation, 1 2 and 5 kopiyok. These would be the equivalent of a cent or a penny.

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What is the exchange rate with the dollar?

The early history of the hryvnia had relative stability. Between 2000 and 2008, the currency moved from UAH 5.6 = USD 1.00 to UAH 5.05 to USD 1.00. However, the 2008 financial crisis struck the Ukrainian economy hard, and the strength of the currency has been on the slide ever since.

As of March 23, 2022, the exchange rate stands at UAH 29.39 = USD 1.00. This is the same level as it was on the outbreak of the Russian invasion.

How has the war impacted the Ukrainian economy?

David Malpass, the president of the World Bank, said the economic impact of the war stretches beyond Ukraine's borders, and the rises in global energy prices in particular "hit the poor the most, as does inflation".

Food prices have also been pushed up by the war, and "are a very real consideration and problem for people in poor countries".

Ukraine produces 29 percent of the world's wheat and many countries in North Africa and the Middle East import the vast majority of their grain from Ukraine. Ports are closed across the country and citizens have been either taking up arms to fight or are fleeing the country. As of publivation, 10 million people have been displaced, while more than 3.5 million have left the country.