Since the official start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24, Rinat Akhmetov has been staunchly supportive of his home country. From sending aid to suing Russia for their misdeeds in the highest court in Europe, he’s done everything in his power to give Ukrainians an advantage in an ongoing war.
As the country is ravaged by foreign powers, it’s more critical than ever for Rinat’s countrymen and women to get the aid and support they need. His latest effort is to build shelters for Ukrainian soldiers, both as a practical measure and as a means of sending moral support to those in peril. See how this pragmatic equipment is being manufactured, shipped, and constructed, and learn more about this is just one measure of many that Akhmetov is doing against Putin.
Akhmetov built his fortune largely by conglomerating a number of steel companies, a handy material both in war and peacetime. He’s found a way to make the best use of his considerable resources to help soldiers fighting on the ground. One of his steelworks is making prefabricated dugouts in pieces and then transporting them to those on the frontlines.
Metinvest Holding LLC, the manufacturer, is making capsules that can be buried up to 5 feet below the surface and withstand impacts of 150-millimeter rounds. Whether people use them as bathrooms, canteens, or secret hideaways, the goal is to give soldiers a means to care for and protect themselves during an undoubtedly fraught time.
One shelter costs around $5,500 and Rinat Akhmetov said that Metinvest should be able to produce around 20 a month. Each component of a single dugout weighs about 110 pounds, meaning the pieces can be transported separately and then put together when they reach their destination. Akhmetov is proud to be leading resistance efforts right under the noses of Ukraine’s antagonists — the pieces are being constructed in southwest Ukraine in Zaporizhia, an area partially occupied by Russian soldiers.
Akhmetov has committed his time, money, and connections to his country. He’s always been vocal about Putin’s blatant lies that serve as justification of the attacks, and he’s publicly stated that he will never stop trying to hold Russia accountable for what they have done. Rinat had big plans to uplift his country’s economy before the war, especially in Mariupol where his steelworks employed around 40,000 people. He’d pledged to open a free university and expand operations in the port city, and it’s devastating that his plans are being delayed because of Russia’s thirst for power.
His nonprofit, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, has sent countless pounds of supplies to people all over the country. Foodstuffs, first aid, medications: he’s been tireless about exhausting his wealth and influence in the country. The CEO of Metinvest Group, Yuriy Ryhenkov, said that the efforts were unprecedented. Once leaders knew that Ukraine was in danger, everyone partnered together to pitch in and help. This was their freedom they were fighting for, and Akhmetov and his partners were prepared to be a part of the resistance.
This included the official foundation, but also DTEK-SCM and Metinvest — all assets under Rinat’s portfolio. The leaders decided to rely on the Metinvest facilities in Poland to accumulate all the aid coming in, largely from Europe. Once they had gathered it all together, it was sent to a humanitarian center in Zaporizhia where it could be sorted and sent to those who needed it most.
Rinat Akhmetov largely wants the people on the frontline to know that they’re not alone. As the war wages on, morale can be difficult to sustain, particularly as it becomes clear that Russia isn’t giving up anytime soon. These shelters are a means to give soldiers some comfort, which may be enough to carry them through the rest of the conflict.