There are many ways to save lives during wartime, and for Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov, one of those ways is through the creation of steel war shelters. These portable dugouts can be sent to the front lines, where soldiers can use them for protection from enemy fire. As the richest man in Ukraine, Akhmetov has the unique ability to use his company’s resources to create these shelters, allowing him to save countless lives and help Ukrainian soldiers continue their fight against Russian invasion.
Rinat Akhmetov is a billionaire and controls steelworks companies throughout the country. The capsules being shipped to soldiers are buried beneath the surface and can withstand impacts from 150-mm rounds with only 5 feet of earth on top of them. They will be used for canteens, bathrooms, and secure places to hide during shelling and assaults. Ten capsules have been sent to the front lines already, and Akhmetov’s company will make 20 more of them every month.
Because the capsules can be assembled after they’re delivered, they can be carried in pieces by small teams of people. That makes it easier for them to be taken to where they are needed the most, so they can be used for protection by soldiers for as long as necessary. Rinat Akhmetov owns System Capital Management, which is the largest industrial conglomerate in Ukraine. The company has holdings in energy, mining, and metallurgy.
Not only is Akhmetov helping his country’s soldiers remain safe, but he is also personally fighting back against the Russian invasion and what it is doing to his country. He has filed a lawsuit against Russia for business losses, which is says add up to billions of dollars since the invasion began in February 2022. The suit addresses “grievous violations of his property rights” and Akhmetov is seeking a court order “preventing Russia from engaging in further blockading, looting, diversion and destruction of grain and steel.”
The issue for Rinat Akhmetov is not about the money he might be losing during this time. Instead, it is about the damage that is being done to the country and its people. He is quoted as saying, “The looting of Ukraine’s export commodities, including grain and steel, has already resulted in higher prices and people dying of hunger worldwide. These barbaric actions must be stopped, and Russia must pay in full.”
Rinat Akhmetov has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Donetsk National University and founded System Capital Management in 2000. He began to acquire properties early in the 1990s, and has a strong sense of responsibility to his fellow Ukrainian people. He is focused on charity that helps these people work through hard times, and believes that true charity starts with the understanding of another person’s pain.
Akhmetov begin his charity work through donating to causes that were personal to him, and has since expanded that work to include more impact and the consideration of significant societal issues. He opened a Humanitarian Center in 2014 and has also started up the Foundation for Development of Ukraine. His organizations have helped thousands of Ukrainian people live better lives and get the help they need.
Now he is taking that ever further with the creation of the portable steel war shelters that are being sent to the front lines to protect soldiers. The invasion of Ukraine is ongoing, and the battle may continue for some time. While Akhmetov knows he cannot stop the battle, he can do what he is able to do by protecting the troops.