The Foundation’s Founder Answered Questions from Radio Liberty
On 24 February, Russia launched a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine. First, the Russian Federation shelled Ukrainian airfields and military infrastructure facilities, and then went on damaging Ukrainian cities and villages, targeting civilian population. Rocket attacks and bombardment target residential blocks, maternity wards, hospitals, schools, kindergartens and churches...
Some of the Ukrainian cities suffered catastrophic destruction and their residents found themselves on the verge of a humanitarian disaster.
• Where did Russia’s war against Ukraine catch the richest Ukrainians? How did it affect their businesses?
• Are they helping the country now in the fight against Russian aggression? How exactly?
• Are the richest people of the country ready to join in the rebuilding of Ukrainian cities after Ukraine’s victory in this war?
“The news about the beginning of the war caught me at home, in Kyiv, when I was in my bed. I was sleeping when my assistant ran into my room saying, ‘Rinat Leonidovych, wake up! We are being shelled, the war has begun!’
I could not imagine it in a terrible dream that Kharkiv and Kyiv would be bombed, residential buildings and hospitals would be bombed. And now our villages, our cities and infrastructure are being destroyed...
The most terrible thing is that civilians are suffering and dying. This is military aggression, war crime and crime against humanity, against my country and Ukrainians.
My heart is bleeding knowing what is happening in Mariupol now, knowing that Mariupol residents are hiding from shelling in the shops of our plants.
Our power engineers do their utmost to ensure there are electricity and heat supplies.
Today, all our businesses, all our companies focus on one thing only, namely helping people survive, doing everything to ensure that they are not left alone face to face with this woe. And I am doing and will be doing everything that is in my power to that end.
I am in Ukraine, and I am not going anywhere.
My Foundation (the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation – ed.) helps people survive. It supplies food and medicines, and SCM businesses help the Ukrainian army defend the sovereignty of our country.
How much was spent on this? Honestly, I do not even count. We deliver everything we can; we do and will be doing everything we can.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the entire international community for the way they support Ukraine and fight for Ukraine.
We are an international company, so every SCM staff member is now doing everything to convey the truth to our Western partners about what is happening in Ukraine and asks to help Ukrainians.
I am sure that the time will come when we will rebuild Ukraine. I will invest all my efforts and funds for Ukraine to be restored and become a strong and prosperous country.”