Industrial Tycoon’s Enterprise as the Port City’s Last Resistance Stronghold

Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov did not stand aside during the toughest  times for his Homeland. At such a time, any support is very important, and even more so from one of the most influential personalities in the country. It is worth, of course, clarifying some biographical background. The businessman himself was born into the family of a miner in Donetsk region, and lived in Donetsk for a long time. Therefore, special love and affection for this particular region is not surprising. The billionaire is the president of Ukraine’s famous Ukrainian football club. Akhmetov owns Metinvest Group, which includes steel and metallurgical plants. Energy company DTEK, which supplies electricity to more than a third of Ukrainian households and many others, also belongs to the businessman.

In 2014, the Kremlin ordered the occupation of eastern Ukraine. Immediately after the outbreak of hostilities, the tycoon left his hometown Donetsk and did not return to the region for almost 9 years. Moreover, a businessman recently stated that he was planning to move his business to the west of the country, which also gave confidence that he was not going to leave Ukraine. 

Currently, the Russian armed forces are waging a full-scale war on the territory of Ukraine. The city of Mariupol in Donetsk region was at the epicenter of Russian aggression and suffered severe damage. A world-known Azovstal steel plant belongs to the Akhmetov company Metinvest.

The enterprise has become a shelter for many civilians and children affected by the war. The billionaire said he was very proud that Azovstal became the last resistance stronghold in the port city before Ukrainian troops left the plant. Azovstal also had more than 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers, including soldiers of the Azov special regiment. Many of those died of starvation and shelling by the invaders there, because the plant was completely surrounded. Moscow has only come up with an excuse of fighting the “neo-Nazis”.

An industrial tycoon said that he considered Russia’s actions a crime against humanity and that it was simply impossible to justify or explain them. He also said that Putin targets those countries that value democracy and freedom. Rinat Akhmetov called on the troops of the aggressor country to leave Ukraine and return the legitimate territories, which include the Crimean Peninsula and the two unrecognized republics, DPR and LPR. The billionaire is suing Russia at the European Court of Human Rights, because Russian Federation has done great damage to his business by violating property rights. It is now difficult to assess the compensation to be paid by Russia, but Akhmetov’s team says that it will be billions.

Based on:

Huynh Nguyen

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