Billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, the richest man in Ukraine, has pledged to restore the damage brought to the country amid Russia’s military operation, in an interview with Reuters published on Saturday.
“We will rebuild the entire Ukraine… I trust that we all will rebuild a free, European, democratic, and successful Ukraine,” Akhmetov stated.
Once known as ‘the owner of Donbass’ for his assets in the region, he said he will begin the reconstruction with the city of Mariupol, where his metallurgical company Metinvest group owns two large steel plants, Azovstal and Ilyich Iron and Steel Works. Earlier this week, the company reported that Ukraine had lost up to 40% of its metallurgical capacities since the start of Russia’s military operation on its soil.
Metinvest, Ukraine’s biggest steelmaker, also said that its enterprises would not operate on Russian-controlled territories of the country, adding that the Mariupol siege had disabled over a third of Ukraine’s metallurgy production capacity.