By: Eastern Eye Staff
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Rinat Akhmetov‘s Metinvest Group has made every effort to provide the defenders of Ukraine with tactical equipment, vehicles, protective gear, and special shelters. Among other efforts, the assistance is provided as part of Akhmetov’s Steel Front military initiative.
Now, Rinat Akhmetov, the owner of System Capital Management Group and part-owner of Metinvest, says the steelmaking giant is building prefabricated, modular dugouts capable of withstanding hits from 152 mm projectiles when they’re buried at least one-and-a-half meters (5 feet) underground.
25 Mobile Shelters for Ukrainian Soldiers
The prefabricated shelters are special protective structures that can be used to reinforce trenches and serve as full-fledged field accommodation. They have a rest area and basic amenities, including a place for a makeshift stove, an outlet for a pipe and an emergency exit with stairs, while the floor features drainage.
The shelters are buried about 5 feet under the ground, and once there, they provide exceptional coverage for soldiers, allowing them to hide during attacks. The dugouts also work well as field bathhouses and canteens.
The shelters are being built in Zaporizhzhia, a city that’s located in the southeastern region of Ukraine. Each of these steel capsules costs about $5,450 and weighs about 110 pounds. Thus far, 10 of these dugouts have been shipped to the front lines. The company is planning to produce another 20 of them monthly going forward. The dugouts are transported in pieces and are assembled on-site.
25 of these shelters, which cost more than UAH 200,000 each to produce, have already been shipped to soldiers fighting against Russia on the front lines with the single goal of saving lives. The steel structure of the shelters has been designed so that it can be delivered disassembled and without using cranes, then quickly and easily built without any specialist equipment.
“Metinvest donates not only personal protective equipment for the military, but also mobile protective shelters for use in the field,“ said Olexander Myronenko, COO of Metinvest Group.
“Such a mobile dugout can be transported easily. When properly installed, it provides highly reliable protection for fighters and, in general, has all the features that our defenders need to rest in the field. As of October 14, the Group had already supplied 25 mobile shelters to the Ukrainian military to help them to defend Ukraine. Like all other equipment and gear, Metinvest provides modular shelters to the military free of charge. The Group is planning to start production of about 30 shelters per month and deliver dugouts for the needs of Ukrainian defenders.”
It should be noted that as part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front military initiative, Metinvest-SMC has been providing metal for body armoured vest manufacturing and car strengthening free of charge. Over the seven months of the war, Rinat Akhmetov and Vadym Novynskyi’s Metinvest Group has donated UAH1.9 billion to help the defenders of Ukraine.
How Else Rinat Akhmetov Is Working To Help Ukraine
The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation has been working to support the front lines since the start of the war. Akhmetov is also doing what he can to support the people impacted by the war. The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation has been working to provide humanitarian aid to the region in many ways. This work is critical due to the actions of the Russian military. Rinat Akhmetov stated, “Even in the worst nightmare, I couldn’t imagine that Kharkiv and Kyiv would be bombed, that residential houses and hospitals would be bombed. And now our villages, cities, and towns, infrastructure facilities are being destroyed.” He added, “The most dreadful part is that peaceful civilians are suffering and being killed. This is war aggression, a war crime, and a crime against humanity, against my country and the Ukrainians.”
Rinat Akhmetov Sees an Incredible Need
Speaking of the war, Rinat Akhmetov said, “Russia is an aggressor country, and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is a war criminal. Ukraine has always been a peaceful country and has never attacked anyone. Today, villages, cities, and infrastructure are being destroyed in our country; peaceful people are dying and suffering.”
He also noted that at the start of the war, any business contacts and interactions his company had with Russia were severed; he stated that he no longer had any interests or assets in Russia.
Regarding the work he is doing, Akhmetov explained, “My foundation helps people survive: It supplies food, medicines, and SCM businesses help the Ukrainian army protect the sovereignty of Ukraine. How much have we spent on the assistance? Frankly speaking, I am not counting. Whatever we can deliver and whatever we can do, we are doing, and we will keep helping.”
He added, “I would like to express my deep gratitude to the entire international community for how they support and fight for Ukraine. We are an international company, and every SCM employee is doing everything they can to communicate the truth to our Western partners, telling them what is really going on in Ukraine and asking them to help the Ukrainians. I am confident that the time will come, and we will rebuild and restore Ukraine. I will invest all my efforts and money to ensure that Ukraine is restored and becomes a strong and prospering country.”
Taking Legal Action Against Russia
Akhmetov has also sued Russia for billions of dollars. He believes that Putin violated his property rights with the invasion of Ukraine. He filed the suit in June at the European Court of Human Rights for an estimated $17 billion to $20 billion in losses. That comes after his steel plants in Mariupol suffered substantial damage and were seized by Russian forces.
“Evil cannot go unpunished. Russia’s crimes against Ukraine and our people are egregious, and those guilty of them must be held liable. With the help of the best Ukrainian and American lawyers, I have lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights for damages. This lawsuit is one of the first international legal steps against Russia to stop their ongoing crimes, destruction of the Ukrainian economy, and the plundering of Ukrainian assets,” said Akhmetov shortly after filing the lawsuit.
More About Rinat Akhmetov and the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation
Rinat Akhmetov is the richest man in Ukraine and the owner of System Capital Management, the largest industrial conglomerate in the country. It owns numerous assets, including mining, metallurgy, energy, and grain. Akhmetov was born in 1966 and is the son of a coal miner. He began purchasing mining assets in 1990 after the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine won its independence. Akhmetov is a native of Donetsk, an area of Ukraine that’s currently heavily occupied by Russian forces. Rinat Akhmetov’s net worth was over $6 billion before the war, and has fallen more than 45% since the start of the aggression. Yet he continues to make it clear: He’s working to protect soldiers and the country as a whole.