This article originally featured on 1News and was written by Anna Whyte.
The New Zealand Defence Force has asked for the urgent withdrawal of any of its KiwiSaver scheme funds that are invested in Russian and Belarusian markets.
1News reported on Monday that hundreds of KiwiSaver and investment funds are invested in Russian companies, including major state-backed institutions.
A NZDF spokesperson told 1News that as a result of Russian military operations in Ukraine, "the NZDF has asked its KiwiSaver investment manager to urgently withdraw any funds invested in Russian and Belarusian markets".
"These funds represent only a small percentage of savers’ investment, nevertheless it was felt appropriate to withdraw them."
Members of the Defence Force are able to invest in the NZDF KiwiSaver scheme, managed by asset management company Mercer, with employer and Government contribution also going in.
However, charity website Mindful Money revealed a variety of different NZDF KiwiSaver funds are invested in Russian state-backed companies.
Its Balanced, Growth, High Growth and Shares fund invested in companies Sberbank, Gazprom and Novatek, while the Moderate Fund invested in Sberbank and Gazprom.
Sberbank is the Russian majority state-owned bank, Gazprom, the partly state-owned energy company, while Noavtek is an independent, large natural gas producer.
More than 500,000 people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began, while Amnesty International said a cluster munition was dropped on a nursery and kindergarten in Ukraine on February 25, killing three civilians including a child, and wounding another child. Secretary-General of Amnesty International Agnès Callamard said it appeared to be dropped by Russian forces.