Ukraine's Richest Billionaire Vows To Rebuild Destroyed City Of Mariupol With His Own Money

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Ukraine's Richest Billionaire Vows To Rebuild Destroyed City Of Mariupol With His Own Money

Ukraine's richest man Rinat Akhmetov, a multi-billionaire, has vowed to use his own money to rebuild the destroyed city of Mariupol on Ukraine's south coast following weeks of brutal bombardment from Russian invaders.


Akhmetov made the vow in an interview with Reuters news agency and has said he must help re-establish Ukraine as a major industrial powerhouse.


The billionaire has an estimated fortune of around $3.9 billion which was built upon his steel business which was based largely in the South-East region and Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. Prior to the annexation the billionaire's fortune was estimated at $15.3 billion.


He told Reuters:


"For us, the war broke out in 2014. We lost all of our assets both in Crimea and in the temporarily occupied territory of Donbas. We lost our businesses, but it made us tougher and stronger. I trust that we all will rebuild a free, European, democratic, and successful Ukraine after our victory in this war."


In the same interview the billionaire said his company (SMC) and employees were still working and still being paid as part of the war effort, saying:


"Yes, they receive salaries. Today, all our businesses focus all their efforts on helping people. I can't wrap my head around the fact that Mariupol is in a complete blockade in 2022, that people are forced to hide in the workshops of our production plants. It is impossible to hear or talk about it without tears in your eyes that people melt snow and drink meltwater to stay alive. That a 6-year-old girl died of dehydration under rubble at the centre of Europe."


Economic experts believe that the current damage to Ukraine from 2 months of Russian invasion is estimated to sit at around $1 trillion.


The fiercest fighting of the war is regarded as being around the city of Mariupol which sits in the Donbass region and is a key port city and centre of industry. Russia claims the Donbass as a puppet state despite it being legally within Ukrainian territory. Most of the 400,000 citizens of the town fled but another 100,000 or so were trapped and then forced to face a siege by Russia. As many as 20,000 people are believed to have died from bombings, shootings, starvation and dehydration. The battel for the city is ongoing but is expected to fall to Russia in the coming days.


[Based on reporting by: Forbes]


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Thinking Humanity: Ukraine's Richest Billionaire Vows To Rebuild Destroyed City Of Mariupol With His Own Money
Ukraine's Richest Billionaire Vows To Rebuild Destroyed City Of Mariupol With His Own Money
Ukraine's richest man Rinat Akhmetov, a multi-billionaire, has vowed to use his own money to rebuild the destroyed city of Mariupol on Ukraine's south
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