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Rinat Akhmetov Continues to Donate Billions To Help Ukraine Withstand Russian Aggression

Image provided by Rinat Akhmetov Foundation
Image provided by Rinat Akhmetov Foundation
System Capital Management (SCM), the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, and FC Shakhtar Donetsk sports team, have donated more than 3 billion Ukrainian hryvnias (UAH) (roughly $100 million) to help support the Ukraine Armed Forces and territorial defense groups in order to provide aid to citizens affected by the war.

Rinat Akhmetov’s Donations by the Numbers

The bulk of his donation — 2.16 billion UAH — was made within the first 40 days of the invasion, between Feb. 24 and April 4.

During that time, Rinat Akhmetov’s businesses handed over 1.4 billion UAH ($48 million) through direct financing and humanitarian aid, including food, medicine, essential items, and shelters. This money was also used to provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces and territorial defense groups with clothes, protective gear, and medical equipment. This included more than 6,000 beds, thousands of bulletproof vests, and 40,000 anti-tank hedgehogs produced by Metinvest Group steel, a subsidiary of SCM and the largest steel maker in Ukraine.

DTEK, also a subsidiary of SCM and the largest private investor in the Ukrainian energy sector, has been providing free electricity to medical institutions, law enforcement, military agencies, and bakeries in the city of Kyiv and the Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts. In March alone, the cost of providing this energy amounted to 32 million UAH, according to DTEK.

Meanwhile, Shakhtar Donetsk Football Club has opened a Shelter Centre at the Arena Lviv, which has received thousands of migrants. A series of charity matches organized by the club have also occurred over the past few months.

Since the beginning of the war, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation has reportedly donated over 500,000 medicines and over 60,000 food packages to Ukrainian citizens. The foundation’s humanitarian aid is estimated to have helped more than 720,000 people survive.

Who Is Rinat Akhmetov?

Rinat Akhmetov is a Ukrainian businessman, thought by many to be the richest man in the country. He’s the owner of SCM Holdings, which operates several subsidiary companies in key industries including energy, steelmaking, and mining. He’s a former member of the Ukrainian Parliament.

Akhmetov built his fortune after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. In his own words, his wealth was obtained by “making risky business investments” in the first few years following the collapse of the iron curtain by purchasing former state-controlled assets.

While Akhmetov is a distinguished businessman, he’s no stranger to war in Ukraine; he’s seen his business empire shattered by more than eight years of fighting in Ukraine’s eastern region.

In 2014, when Russia invaded and subsequently annexed Crimea from Ukraine, his hometown of Donetsk fell to Russian forces, which caused all of his assets in the area to become worthless overnight. Akhmetov suffered heavy personal and business losses.

This time, Akhmetov’s personal fortune and business empire have taken an even heavier hit. His personal fortune is estimated to have dropped from approximately $14 billion before Russia’s invasion in February to around $4.7 billion.

As for the damage to Akhmetov’s businesses, many of his Metinvest Group assets have been destroyed or taken over by Russians as a result of the siege in the port city of Mariupol. Ukraine’s last defenders of Mariupol left the city on May 18, and the Russian forces took complete control of the area.

Aside from his business prowess, Akhmetov is widely known for his charitable work. Through his namesake charity, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, the billionaire has been providing financial, medical, humanitarian, and educational assistance to the citizens of Ukraine for almost two decades.

Why Is Rinat Akhmetov Donating So Much Money?

Rinat Akhmetov is utterly determined to help the Ukrainian people fight off Russian aggression and remain victorious in the current war. To achieve this, Akhmetov has indicated that he will spare no expense, given his unique position in Ukrainian society.

“In wartime, our company operates accordingly. Now our utmost goal is to help Ukrainians survive and withstand,” Akhmetov was quoted by Forbes Ukraine. “I have already instructed my foundation to help with evacuation, medicines, and everything necessary if needed. We will do everything to prevent a humanitarian disaster.”

When asked for what he deems acceptable going forward, Akhmetov said that nothing short of a total cease-fire and a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine will lead to victory, adding, “and full restoration of the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine. That includes Crimea and Donbas.”
Akhmetov confirmed that, despite the personal and professional hardships, Metinvest workers are continuing to receive their salaries so that all his businesses can “focus all their efforts on helping people.”
“My foundation is helping Ukrainians survive by providing water, food, medicines, and any help we can give here and now,” he said. “SCM businesses are helping the army and territorial defense forces to defend our sovereignty, our freedom and independence, and win the war.”

Dimanche 4 Septembre 2022

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