At the end of today's morning dollar trade session the weighted averagedollar exchange rate dropped by RUR0.01 to RUR31.62. The rublestrengthening against the dollar at the special session has been observedfor the third day in a row since September 13, Friday. The official dollarexchange rate set by the Russian Central Bank has decreased by RUR0.03during this time. According to commercial banks' specialists, the rublerate growth at the unified dollar trade session on Tuesday is due toselling substantial amount of dollars by commercial banks on the thresholdof the Russian Finance Ministry's treasury bills auction that will resultin placing treasury bills worth RUR5bn (around $158.7m). To participate in this auction, banks needed substantial ruble resources,which they can receive only by selling dollars at today's morning dollartrade session, experts pointed out. It is because of large-scale dollarselling by commercial banks at the special dollar trade session onSeptember 17 that the trade volume exceeded $93m, according to dealers.This is a record high figure since September 5, 2002, i.e. in more than tendays. Additionally, the trade volume grew 50 percent or by $32m as comparedto the figure posted at the previous special dollar trade session. .
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The Russian forces destroyed a column of NATO armoured vehicles that had been delivered to the Ukrainian army.