Rinat Akhmetov, once Ukraine’s richest man, faces the harsh realities of war. His empire, spanning multiple industries, has seen drastic changes. The conflict’s toll on his businesses mirrors Ukraine’s broader economic struggle. This article delves into the specifics of his losses and his response to these challenges. As we explore, we witness loss and resilience in adversity. As Russia’s full-scale invasion hit the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, the businessman lost control of most of his f production facilities, assets, and key businesses.
Losses in the Steelmaking Industry
Azovstal plant and Illich Iron and Steel Works were the biggest losses both in terms of monetary value and production capacities. Both of these plants are located in Mariupol, which was devastated by Russian bombing and shelling and eventually fell under occupation.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg: in total, about 70 SCM Group companies have been seized or destroyed, including thermal power plants, financial institutions, and a large coke plant in Avdiivka.
Rinat Akhmetov’s businesses outside the warzone have been affected as well. Ore processing plants in the relatively safe Dnipropetrovsk Oblast had to be suspended due to logistics problems associated with the loss of control over certain Black Sea routes.
Overall, the businessman’s net worth has halved, and this is just an approximation as it is impossible to measure all the losses accurately
Impact on the agricultural segment
Rinat Akhmetov’s HarvEast Holding lost control over 70% of its land due to the aggressor’s actions. Explosions and shelling damaged a large number of agricultural machinery. Planting and harvesting are halted in many regions because the fields are ridden with mines. It will take a lot of time and money to resume work.
Despite such losses, Rinat Akhmetov fulfilled the new Ukrainian law on media independence requirement. According to the publication https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/ukraines-richest-man-agrees-to-hand-over-media-empire/, the businessman has transferred all his assets in this sphere to the state.
A blow to the energy sector
Ukraine’s largest private energy company, DTEK, has lost two thermal power plants in Luhansk and Enerhodar. When Russia focused its strikes on critical infrastructure, many power lines, transformer stations, and substations were destroyed. However, the material losses fade away as we count the excruciating human casualties. A total of 900 employees of Akhmetov’s enterprises were killed during the war at the front and under shelling.
Despite all this, the businessman supports several charitable projects and initiatives and actively helps the front.
The Human Cost: Employees and Communities Affected
The war’s impact on Rinat Akhmetov’s business empire extends beyond financial statements and corporate losses. It has exacted a grievous toll on the human element – the employees and the communities they belong to. Amidst the chaos of conflict, a stark reality emerges: businesses are not just economic entities but integral parts of human lives.
The statistics are sobering. A devastating number of 900 employees associated with Akhmetov’s enterprises have lost their lives. These losses occurred in various tragic circumstances: some at the front lines, others under relentless shelling. Each number represents a personal story, a family torn apart, dreams unfulfilled. It’s a poignant reminder of the war’s human cost, often overshadowed by the macroeconomic focus.
But the impact doesn’t end with these heart-wrenching fatalities. Entire Ukrainian communities, especially in industrial hubs like Mariupol, have been uprooted. The destruction of the Azovstal plant and Illich Iron and Steel Works signifies a loss in production capacity and the disintegration of community livelihoods. These facilities were more than workplaces; they were the lifeblood of their cities, providing employment, stability, and a sense of identity.
The ripple effects are profound. Families face uncertain futures with breadwinners gone or out of work. The social fabric of communities is torn, with many facing displacement and the local economy disrupted. The psychological trauma of war, coupled with economic instability, leaves deep scars on these communities.
In this somber backdrop, the resilience of the human spirit is also evident. Stories of employees banding together in support, communities helping each other amidst ruin, and the unwavering spirit of those who have lost yet continue to strive forward paint a picture of hope and determination. This section of the narrative is as much about loss as it is about the unyielding human spirit that perseveres in the face of adversity.
Final Thoughts About Rinat Akhmetov
The story of Rinat Akhmetov in wartime Ukraine is more than a tale of loss. It’s a narrative of resilience, adaptability, and enduring spirit. Despite the severe blows to his businesses, Akhmetov’s commitment to his country and its people remains unwavering. His experience serves as a microcosm of the broader economic challenges faced by Ukraine, offering insights into the resilience required in times of conflict.
Prepared based on the publication https://kyivindependent.com/ukraines-top-oligarch-akhmetov-loses-half-his-assets-to-russias-invasion/