To begin with, Rinat Akhmetov himself is a native of the Donetsk region, which may mean his special affinity for this region of Ukraine. There is a huge conglomeration of railway junctions in the area, which allows the carrying of a large amount of coal and metals.
Subsequently, in early 2014, Akhmetov was forced to move from his native Donetsk to the capital city, Kyiv. At that point, Russia’s first armed conflicts with Ukraine began. On the one hand, there were Russian mercenary soldiers together with pro-Russian rebels of Donbas, and on the other hand – the army of Ukraine.
It is also necessary to add that Akhmetov is the richest man in his country. To date, his fortune is estimated at about 5.3 billion dollars, although much was lost as a result of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation on February 24, 2022. The businessman is the largest coal tycoon, he owns Metinvest, which specializes in mining and metallurgy.
The company’s plants in Mariupol and Avdiivka were badly damaged as a result of Russian military aggression. In addition, its energy company DTEK, which provides electricity to one-third of the population across Ukraine, was also affected. Rinat Akhmetov’s reaction did not take long and in March 2022, the tycoon announced that he and his holding company SCM would file claims against Russia for damages.
Metinvest owns a huge steel mill and the world-famous Azovstal in the big Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Not so long ago it was a shelter that the Russian invaders surrounded and did not leave the possibility of retreat. At the enterprise, there were more than 2,000 fighters of the Armed Forces, including members of the elite battalion Azov. The factory also sheltered many civilians, wounded and injured. Moscow justified its war crimes by fighting “neo-Nazis”.
Akhmetov claims that he chose the side a long time ago and was extremely proud that it was his Azovstal that became the place of resistance in Mariupol. For every Ukrainian, such words are very important during the difficult period of the war. It is also important that the businessman did not escape from Ukraine, continuing to be in Kyiv, which was still in great danger in spring. Many towns and villages near the capital have been severely affected by Russian terrorism. Recall that the magnate has elite properties outside the country, but preferred to stay in Ukraine.
Rinat Akhmetov said that what happened in Mariupol was a huge tragedy for him, as for all citizens. The businessman is very proud of every soldier and is very grateful to anyone who in any way brings Ukraine to victory. He believes that his country can be happy only if united, Donbas is Ukraine.
Based on: https://www.letemps.ch/monde/rinat-akhmetov-suis-fier-quazovstal-soit-bastion-resistance-marioupol
YouTube: Promotional video from the Metinvest channel
Photo credit: The feature image is owned by Metinvest and has been provided for media usage.
Editorial notice: The article contains the personal opinion of the author. The article contains political information. The article contains information that cannot be verified by the editing team.