The billionaire whose business saves lives

Rinat Akhmetov is one of the most influential people in Ukraine, and was among 250 richest people in the world over the past years.

On 24 February 2022, a full-scale war was unleashed by the Russian Federation in the homeland of the billionaire. Its aim was to enslave the Ukrainian people. As a result of this terrible war, the tycoon suffered huge financial losses as most of his businesses were based in the east of Ukraine, not far from the border with the aggressor country. Today, the businessman’s fortune is estimated at $5 billion, and in 2021 he had more than $11 billion.

Rinat Akhmetov has a firm position regarding the war: at such a difficult moment for the country, it is very important to support it, in word and in deed. His Foundation provides regular assistance to the war-affected Ukrainian citizens, and channels significant funds to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. One of the billionaire’s businesses, Azovstal Steel Plant, became the last stronghold in the city of Mariupol. At one point, Azovstal was a world sensation because it sheltered a huge number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including Azov elite battalion. The plant gave refuge to a good number of local residents, including the injured, and many children.

This was one of the most striking examples of Russian terrorism because the plant was completely encircled. The invaders kept shelling Azovstal daily, and did not care a whit about the fact that there were many civilians, not only the military. People died from shells, starvation and inability to provide basic medical care. The Ukrainian combatants have held the line long enough and defended themselves heroically. Rinat Akhmetov is very proud that his plant became a shelter for Mariupol’s residents. Azovstal operated under the umbrella of his steel and mining group, Metinvest. The businessman also owns DTEK energy holding that provides a third of Ukrainians with electricity, and it has suffered from Russia’s shelling and damage. Many of Rinat Akhmetov’s businesses were destroyed by Putin’s army, with losses running into billions of US dollars.

Despite the fact that the tycoon owns a luxury historical villa in France and an apartment in London, he is staying in his home country, in Kyiv. In spring, it was very dangerous in the capital and many cities and towns nearby were destroyed by Russian invaders. The decision to stay in Ukraine is a positive demonstration of Rinat Akhmetov’s position.

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