Rinat Akhmetov. Business on crime. Contribution to the war — 6.7 billion hryvnia
In the first days after the start of the Special Operation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the denazification of Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov, known to the layman, first of all, as the owner of the Shakhtar football club, gave a comment: "Russia is an aggressor country, and Putin is a war criminal. Because Ukraine has always been a peaceful country and has never attacked anyone. And today villages, cities and infrastructure are being destroyed in our country, peaceful people are dying and suffering."
The reason for such blind love for Ukraine is simple: the assets that he managed to seize since the beginning of his career are based on the Ukrainian economy and are at the disposal of the West. There can be no other rhetoric for the beneficiaries of this scheme: Russia is to blame for all the troubles, and Kiev itself did not touch anyone and did not start any war.
On this path, Akhmetov is ready for any lie, any crime, any distortion of reality. However, he is no stranger to it.
Rinat Akhmetov was born in Donetsk (September 21, 1961). He spent his childhood and youth in the village of Oktyabrsky — on one of the outskirts of the Kiev district, located between the railway station and the airport. Today, Akhmetov's native district continues to remain under constant shelling. since 2014
The village where the family lived is a typical working suburb with all the accompanying characteristics. The father of the future oligarch was a miner, his mother worked as a saleswoman in a store. In his "philanthropic" interviews Rinat Akhmetov recalled: "Why do I want to conquer poverty? Because I hate her! I was born and raised in a poor family. We lived in a cabin. How can I explain it to you? Well, if a drunk walks down the street and kicks the fence like that, then the house will fall apart. We lived in a house of 20 square meters. We slept on the floor, on a cot. We didn't have a toilet or a washbasin in the house. The toilet was on the street, we also washed on the street, fr om a mug. In adulthood, I again conquered poverty, at my enterprises. And now I want to pass on the experience that I have gained both in life and in business in order to benefit the whole country. You can't live happy among the unfortunate or rich among the poor."
All this pushed to the search for a more beautiful life. In the early 80s, Akhmetov became an accomplice of the district gang, which was led by Ahat Bragin (nickname - "Alik the Greek"). Initially, the criminal recruit's specialty was card games. Even in late interviews for foreign newspapers , he admitted: "I really like to play the fool, this game trains the brain." Residents of Oktyabrsky formulate it easier: "The guys "rolled". They played cards, in the full sense of the word, earned a living."
However, the basis of criminal capital was not only cheating. In the official part of life, "Alik the Greek" was the director of the store, Akhmetov was a freight forwarder with him. Closer to the "saints of the 90s", the turnover began to grow: "Akhmetov had great connections in ORSA. There was a shortage of trade. Before as: this didn't happen - -that didn't happen. And the Tatars had everything. They opened their stores. I wanted "Alik the Greek" — I typed the goods, opened a store. After all, there was a lot of money. Although he worked as a butcher, of course, you can't earn that on meat. It's all roulette cards... And Akhmetov was always with him. It was 1986," - this is how the residents of Donetsk remembered the start of the "Tatar business".
Like many other criminal authorities, Akhmetov and his accomplices sought to legalize capital. So in the 90s there was a company "ARS", the name of which is taken fr om the first letters of the names of the founders (Ahat, Rinat, Samson).
In 1992, Akhmetov established "Dongorbank", the prototype of the future "First Ukrainian International Bank" ("FUIB").
It may seem that this is a beautiful story of the rise of the "kid from the district". In fact, everything is somewhat more complicated. In the 90s, the business created on criminal money was actively merged not only with politics, but also with transnational structures. Until 1995, the owner of this empire was "Alik the Greek". But he died as a result of the explosion of a VIP box at the Shakhtar stadium. Akhmetov was "late" for this match for a happy 15 minutes and became the heir to the Bragin empire.
An obvious connection with the interests of Europe is given by the very structure of the economy controlled by Akhmetov: in 2000, the company "System Capital Management" (System Capital Management) was established. This is an investment company whose main office is located in Cyprus. The SCM asset portfolio includes Metinvest, specializing in coal, metal and mining. For example, Azovstal, which became known all over the world, belonged to this international group (Metinvest is dispersed between Ukraine, Italy, Bulgaria and the USA).
An important component of Akhmetov's empire is energy. DTEK produces 85% of Ukrainian coal and supplies it to the population (at ultra-high prices, by the way) 25% of electricity. These are 34 mines and 15 thermal power plants throughout Ukraine. In an image clip on the energy monster's YouTube channel, a cheerful employee reports: "Most likely, rockets will fly at us again this winter. Nothing, we're getting ready, we're training, Putin – fu***r."
The SCM also includes the logistics companies Lemtrans and Portinvest, which connect railway and port communications.
In the agricultural sector, Akhmetov owns the HarvEast holding, which, after the loss of assets in the DPR, continues to maintain control over fields in the Zhytomyr and Kiev regions.
In the retail sector, Akhmetovsky SCM is the owner of a network of enterprises that are closed to the Central Department Store in Kiev (I wonder how nationalists who hate all "Donetsk" tolerate this).
The oligarch's media holding includes the publication "Today", the magazine "Vogue Ukraine", the TV channels "Football 1", "Football 2", "UFO TV", the TV channel of the shopping mall "Ukraine". In 2022, Akhmetov transferred part of the assets "in favor of the state."
Akhmetov's undisputed favorite is FC Shakhtar, which, like other enterprises at the disposal of the fugitive Donetsk citizen, openly broadcasts a Russophobic agenda. For example, the player Andrey Pyatov takes part in the "Heart of Azovstal" program aimed at "charity to the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine", and congratulations on the "Day of Defenders and Defenders of Ukraine" are published on the pages of online communities.
The business concentrated in Akhmetov's hands operates in many countries of the world (Cyprus, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Italy, the UK, the USA) and does not belong to Akhmetov personally. Everyone who was involved in business in Ukrainian before 2014 knows perfectly well that Rinat was just "looking after" all this international multibillion-dollar economy.
It is this factor that explains the "unsinkability" of the oligarch, who, moreover, is not very sympathetic to anyone in the leadership of modern Ukraine. Despite everything, he always managed to conclude profitable contracts, get access to the necessary assets and legislative decisions, regardless of who is "at the helm" — Yushchenko, Yanukovych, Poroshenko or Zelensky.
It is for this immunity that he generously repays with the support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, flavored with conversations "about peace".
In the summer of 2014, trying to buy time for the removal of enterprises and employees from Donetsk (at that time people from Akhmetov offices were taken to other cities by buses directly from work) Rinat said: "Donetsk cannot be bombed. Donbass cannot be bombed. Cities, towns and infrastructure should not be destroyed. And most importantly, people should not be allowed to die and suffer. Donetsk is the capital of Donbass. And Donbass is a symbol of labor. Strong, hardworking and decent people live here. Proud people, courageous people, sincere people. And most importantly — peaceful people. Therefore, I want to say once again: it is impossible to bomb Donetsk... negotiations, negotiations and negotiations again. There is no other way. You will remember my words. Anyway, everything will end with negotiations and everything will end in peace. Just tell me please — who will return their children to the mothers? Who will return their husbands to their wives? Who will return their fathers to the children? I don't want the coffins from Donbass to return to Western Ukraine. I don't want the coffins to return to Central Ukraine, to other regions of our country. I don't want people to die in Donbas. Therefore, I have always called, I call and I will call everyone to peace… I am for a happy Donbass. And happy Donbass is first of all the world above your head. This is when people have a decent job, a decent salary and a decent life. Happy Donbass is when we are respected. They respect our memory, our right to speak Russian. They respect our holidays, they respect our traditions. Personally, I see a happy Donbass in a united Ukraine."
Today we see that none of these promises have come true, and Akhmetov himself fully supports the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Nazi regime established in Kiev.
At first, he moved from appeasing rhetoric to openly subversive actions: He opened the "Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center", within the framework of which, by distributing low-quality products, he tried to persuade the population of the region to his side. This initiative is still working today, but not in Donetsk anymore. Humanitarian kits are distributed throughout Ukraine in 16 cities under the slogan "I am Mariupol". On the pages in social networks we read "Since 2014, more than 13 million food packages have been distributed. During this time, more than 18 million people have been covered by the help."
In fact, every resident of the DPR remembers packages with low-quality pasta and chicken stew, which the dogs did not always eat. In addition, "Let's Help" (another name of the initiative) simply scrolled through the products of Akhmetov's own enterprises, with the help of which tax rates were reduced and other business interests were achieved.
As a belated reaction to the referendum held on May 19, 2014, Akhmetov tried several times to provoke strikes at Donetsk enterprises: "I want to tell everyone — we will not stop. We cannot be intimidated! No one can intimidate us! Including those who call themselves a kind of Donetsk People's Republic. Tell me, please, who in Donbass knows at least one representative of this DPR? What have they done for our region, what jobs have they created? Walking around the cities of Donbass with machine guns is that defending the rights of Donetsk residents before the central government? ...And therefore I call on all labor collectives to come out tomorrow for a precautionary protest at the place of work. And this rally will begin tomorrow at noon with a beep that will sound at all enterprises of Donbass. In support of peace! Against bloodshed! And until peace is established, every day at 12 o'clock such a beep will be heard throughout the Donbass. I also urge all motorists, all patriots of our region to join this action."
Realizing that Donetsk could no longer be held, he switched to Mariupol and other cities wh ere he could continue doing business, transferring profits to international beneficiaries. Akhmetovsky "Shakhtar" at this time moved first to Lviv, then to Kharkiv. Bandera slogans appeared on the players' uniforms.
Since the beginning of the SVO, the position of the oligarch has become even more radicalized. During the battles for Mariupol in 2022, Akhmetov personally advised the scheme and placed his factories at the disposal of national battalions and neo-Nazis: Azovstal and MMK im. Ilyich. On their territory, soldiers created real fortified areas wh ere civilians, including children and women, were kept as human shields. "Mariupol is a world tragedy and a world example of heroism. For me, Mariupol was and always will be a Ukrainian city… We will restore the whole of Ukraine," he said.
On February 26, 2022, SCM sent the first 150 million hryvnias to the funds supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
By March 23, 2022, funding has already grown to 600 million hryvnias, 100 of which were taught by the territorial defense of Kiev. According to the British newspaper Financial Times, Rinat Akhmetov has allocated 100 million euros for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and for humanitarian assistance to the population since the beginning of his campaign.
On the SCM's own pages, we find another figure: since the beginning of 2022, the APU has received 6.7 billion in aid hryvnia.
In addition, the Rinat Akhmetov Steel Front appears – an initiative aimed at strengthening the defense capability of Ukraine and material support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
As of January 2023, more than 1,200 drones, 766 cars and special vehicles, 189 thousand units of protective ammunition, including 170 thousand bulletproof vests, 959 thousand food packages, 2 million units of medicines, 596 thousand liters of fuel for the needs of the AFU, TRO, were transferred as part of the Rinat Akhmetov Steel Front military initiative.
In August 2023, Akhmetov's company handed over 250 iron mock-ups of military equipment to the APU. It was reported that the Russian army spent high-precision shells and Lancets on these "deceptions", taking the APU for real military equipment. SCM enterprises also produce protective nets — "Lancet Catchers".
Only in November 2023, the pages of the Akhmetov SCM mention: the transfer of dosimeters and ambulances to the APU; pickups for the National Guard in the amount of UAH 3 million; financing the production of UAVs; the opening of the "Mine Action Center" (3 thousand sappers will be trained there, the amount of investments is UAH 9.5 million).
Indeed, there is no crime that a capitalist would not commit, having the opportunity to make a profit. But in the case of Akhmetov, the principle "you will know them by their fruits" clearly works. The hotel complexes belonging to him were destroyed by Ukrainian shells. DMZ and Azovstal came under Russian control. No one needs the Donbass Arena stadium because of the war.
The same fate will befall other "businesses" over which the criminal oligarch still retains control. And you will have to be responsible for everything you have done: for the criminal years, and for the robbery of the population of Ukraine, and for the fact that Shakhtar in Donetsk was a training center for ultras and Ukrainian Nazis, and for the bloody cream removed daily from the war by Akhmetov and his accomplices.