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Where did you come from?

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Fenntucky Mike


So this was part of another journal entry I was writing but I got completely sidetracked in researching/writing this aspect of the entry and it just doesn't fit or stay within the theme of the original anymore. Viola! A second journal entry. 

In 1991 the newly Independent Ukraine was accepting bids to print its new currency the Hryvnia. CBNC (Canadian Bank Note Company), one of the bidders, is based in Ottawa. At the time Canada had a population of just over 27 million, 1 million of which were of Ukrainian descent, this gave CBNC a competitive edge in the bidding for the contract. In February of 1991, Shirley Arends of CBNC took a call from a Ukrainian-Canadian in Ottawa who had been asked by the Ukrainian Parliament in Kyiv to advise how the emerging nation could produce and circulate a new currency. CBNC then expressed interest in bidding for the contract, after which a delegation of Ukrainians arrived to discuss the contract further. The conference went well and after which each group hired a Canadian-Ukrainian law firm to represent themselves. Lawyers from the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau Davis represented the CBNC and the firm of Smith, Lyons, Torrance, Stevenson and Mayer represented the NBU (National Bank of Ukraine). The two parties signed a letter of intent in New York City in September but the deal was not publicized until November 14, 1991 when the contract was approved by the Supreme Council of Ukraine the Verkhovna Rada. The terms of the contract were that Ukraine would place a $5 million USD down payment in hard currency, not in Hryvnia, the CBNC was then to print the first series of Hryvnia banknotes after which the balance of the contract was to be paid. The contract was worth $35 million USD and the total number of bills to be printed was 1.5 billion in denominations from 1 to 100. This new contract was a coup for CBNC, the printing deal with Ukraine was instrumental in more than doubling the companies revenues from 91 to 92. CBNC also worked closely with the NBU in establishing the BPMW (Banknote Printing and Minting Works) of Ukraine. At one point the two entities were to co-own the facility giving CBNC a Kyiv based manufacturing facility from which they could tender bids and produce new currencies and other items for the newly emerging countries of the old Soviet Union. The concept/plan did not come to fruition, in fact TDLR (Thomas De La Rue) and ISBF (Imprimerie Speciale de Banque, "France") were printing Coupons at this same time, TDLR would go on to print some of the second series Hryvnia notes as well. (Maybe in part that's why the 50 & 100 denominations were not issued, or why CBNC did not print any additional notes for or with the NBU, there was a falling out of some kind?) Continued below images......

                                                      (First Series Notes, issued)                                                                                                                          (First Series Notes, not issued)


Printing began in January of 1992 and the CBNC committed to a delivery date at the end of June but being in no rush to receive the newly printed notes (the first issue notes would not be released into circulation until 1996) and not wanting to spend the extra money on air freight the Ukrainian government decided to ship the notes via overseas freight. Once production was complete a freight ship, along with 8 officers of ALPHA (Ukrainian Secret Service (ex KGB) now called SBU) disguised as sailors,  was sent from the port city of Ilyichevsk in the Black Sea (now Chornomorsk, due to a 2015 law requiring settlements established under Soviet/Communist control to be renamed). After a month's time the vessel arrived in Montreal, where it waited until the notes were removed from the CBNC vaults and loaded into shipping containers, the containers were then loaded onto railcars and departed CBNC headquarters in Ottawa by train. On September 13, 1992 the ship "Peter Aleynikov" was loaded with the 105 containers of banknotes and departed in route to the island of Malta where an additional 23 containers of cargo were loaded. On October 2, the cargo ship returns to Ukraine and docks in the port city of Nikolayev (now Mykolaiv) near the mouth of the Dnieper River in the Black Sea. The containers were then transferred to the general cargo ship "Slavutich - 17" (commissioned in 1991) and two other similar vessels. Once loaded the three ships navigated up the Dnieper River to Kyiv where the containers were offloaded and delivered to the NBU (National Bank of Ukraine) where they were held in underground vaults until their release on September 2, 1996.

                                                      (Slavutich-17, present day)


It's pretty amazing that you can find information and details like that, even a picture of the ship that transported the notes. Read enough books and do enough "searching", you'll be amazed at what you find.

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