Ukrainian flag on the background of the rally Source: Adobe Stock

Offices closed or destroyed, seven-hour lines at ATMs, employees who have joined Ukraine’s armed forces, and threats of Russian occupiers forcing credit union leaders to transfer money – these are the things Ukraine’s credit union community is facing amid the war, as described in a podcast episode released Thursday by the World Council of Credit Unions.

In episode 11 of WOCCU’s Global Credit Union Podcast, WOCCU Director of Communications Greg Neumann spoke to a credit union liaison referred to as “Aleksandr,” which is not his real name (his identity was concealed due to safety concerns). Having recently fled Eastern Ukraine to stay with friends in the Western region of the country, Aleksandr shared that more than 20 credit unions are located in areas of active war; most credit union facilities are closed, some have been destroyed, and many Ukrainian credit union members have likely lost their homes and/or lives. Like many civilians who lived peaceful, perhaps mundane lives just a month ago, some employees of credit unions are now a part of Ukraine’s armed forces.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.

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