Sunday, April 14, 2024

Ukraine’s richest man promises to rebuild Mariupol

Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov has pledged to help rebuild Mariupol, a place close to his heart where he owns two vast steelworks that he says will once again compete globally.

“Mariupol is a global tragedy and a global example of heroism. For me, Mariupol has been and will always be a Ukrainian city,” Akhmetov said in written answers to questions from the Reuters news agency.

Rinat Akhmetov has seen his business empire shattered by eight years of fighting in Ukraine’s east but remains defiant, sure that what he calls “our brave soldiers” will defend the Sea of Azov city reduced to a wasteland by seven weeks of bombardment.

Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov is a Ukrainian billionaire and businessman. He is the founder and president of System Capital Management, and ranked among the wealthiest men in Ukraine.

As of April 2022, he was listed as the 687th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of US$4 billion.

In November, Zelensky accused Akhmetov of conspiring to overthrow his government in a Russia-backed plot — amid mounting tensions as Vladimir Putin’s forces massed along the Ukrainian border in a pre-invasion military buildup.

Akhmetov, a vocal opponent of Zelensky’s anti-corruption measures targeting the nation’s oligarchs, called the coup allegation “an absolute lie,” Politico reported at the time.

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