Kyiv: Ukraine’s richest man has pledged to help rebuild the besieged city, after the historic center of the city of Mariupol was almost completely destroyed amid fierce fighting with the Russian military. In an interview with Reuters news agency, Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov said Mariupol, a place close to his heart and where he has two huge steelworks, would once again compete on the world stage.
Akhmetov has seen his business empire shattered by eight years of fighting in Ukraine’s east, but is sure Ukraine’s “brave soldiers” will defend the low Azov city in the wasteland from seven weeks of bombing.
For now, however, Ukraine’s largest steel maker, Akhmetov’s Metinvest Company, has announced that it cannot deliver on its supply contracts and that while its Financial and Industrial SCM Group is meeting its debt obligations, its Private power producer DTEK has “optimized payment of its debts” with creditors, Reuters reported.
Mariupol is a global tragedy and a global example of heroism. For me, Mariupol has always been and will be a Ukrainian city,” Akhmetov said.
“I believe that our brave soldiers will defend the city, although I understand how difficult and difficult it is for them,” he said, adding that he was in daily contact with the managers of Metinvest, which are Azovstal and Ilyich Iron End. Steel works run the plant. Mariupol.
Metinvest said on Friday it would “never” operate under Russian rule and that the Mariupol siege had disabled more than a third of Ukraine’s metallurgy production capacity. Akhmetov also praised President Volodymyr Zelensky’s “passion and professionalism” during the war.
“We will rebuild the whole of Ukraine,” he said, adding that he returned to the country on February 23 and has been there ever since.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 when President Vladimir Putin announced a “special operation” to demilitarize and “deny” the country. Kyiv and its Western allies dismiss this as a false pretext for an unprovoked attack.
Akhmetov has seen his business empire shrink since 2014, when Russia declared independence from Crimea’s Black Sea peninsula and two eastern Ukrainian regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – from Kyiv. According to Forbes magazine, in 2013 Akhmetov’s net worth reached $ 15.4 billion. It is currently $3.9 billion.
“For us, war broke out in 2014. We lost all our possessions in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and Donbass. We lost our business, but it made us stronger and stronger,” he said.
“I am confident that, as the country’s largest private business, SCM will play an important role in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine,” he said, citing officials as the war damages have reached $1 trillion.
“I am confident that all of us after victory in this war will rebuild a free, European, democratic and successful Ukraine,” he said.
situation in ukraine
Russian forces resumed scattered attacks from Kyiv, western Ukraine and beyond on Saturday in an explosive reminder to Ukrainians and their Western supporters that the entire country is in danger, despite Russia’s axis of mounting a new offensive in the east.
Shocked by the loss of its Black Sea flagship and angered by Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory, Russia’s military command a day earlier warned of new attacks on the Ukrainian capital, saying it was targeting military sites.
Fighting continued in the southern port city of Mariupol, where locals reported seeing Russian soldiers digging up bodies. In the northeastern city of Kharkiv, shelling at a residential area killed seven people, including a 7-month-old baby, and injured 34, according to regional governor Oleh Sinehubov.