Ukraine’s richest man vows to rebuild country after Zelensky accuses him of Russian coup – World News

Rinat Akhmetov has declared “we will rebuild the whole of Ukraine”, five months after he was accused by President Volodymyr Zelensky of inviting him to join the Russian coup.

Rinat Akhmetov said that Ukraine will be rebuilt
Rinat Akhmetov said that Ukraine will be rebuilt

Ukraine’s richest man has pledged to help rebuild the besieged city of Mariupol, months after the country’s president accused him of considering funding a pro-Russian coup.

Rinat Akhmetov has seen his business empire fall to pieces after eight years of fighting in eastern Ukraine but remains defiant and confident that what he calls “our brave soldiers” will protect him. The defense of the Sea of ​​Azov city was turned into a wasteland after seven weeks of shelling.

The billionaire has declared “we will rebuild the whole of Ukraine”, five months after Volodymyr Zelensky questioned his loyalty to the country.

“We will certainly need an unprecedented international reconstruction program, a Marshall Plan, for Ukraine,” he added, referring to the massive US-led effort to restore Europe after World War Monday.

Zelensky previously questioned the billionaire’s loyalty


Image Zuma Press / PA)

Akhmetov praised President Zelensky’s “passion and professionalism” during the war, seemingly smoothing out relations after the Ukrainian leader said last year that conspirators wanted to overthrow his government. tried to involve entrepreneurs.

Akhmetov called the allegation “an absolute lie” at the time.

“And war is certainly not the time for conflict… We will rebuild the whole of Ukraine,” he said, adding that he had returned to the country on February 23 and had been there. since then. “

However, now his company Metinvest, Ukraine’s largest steel producer, has announced that it is unable to deliver the supply contracts and while his SCM Industrial and Financial Group is paying the bills. Debts.

Mariupol has been burning fiercely since the invasion began


Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Akhmetov said: “Mariupol is a global tragedy and an example of global heroism. For me, Mariupol was, is and will always be a Ukrainian city.”

“I believe that our brave soldiers will defend the city, although I understand how difficult and hard it is for them.”

On Friday, Metinvest said it would never operate under Russian occupation and that the siege of Mariupol has disabled more than a third of Ukraine’s metallurgical production capacity.

“My ambition is to return to Mariupol of Ukraine and implement our (new production) plans so that the steel produced by Mariupol can be competitive in the global market as before.”

Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, has seen his business empire shrink since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea and two eastern Ukraine regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – declaring independence. established from Kyiv.

According to Forbes magazine, Akhmetov’s net worth in 2013 was $15.4 billion (£11.8 billion). It currently stands at $3.9 billion (£3 billion).

The city was besieged by the Russian army


Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The situation in Mariupol has become increasingly desperate over the past week, with Ukrainian officials claiming that tens of thousands of civilians have died there since the invasion began.

Russia says its military has liberated most of the port city with only a small fleet of Ukrainian fighters in the giant Illich steel plant, as missiles hit Kyiv and other cities.

Russia’s request for the surrender of Ukrainian forces in Mariupol by 3:00 a.m. GMT was passed with no immediate sign of response.

Zelensky warned that peace talks would be abandoned if the city’s remaining defenders were killed.

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Read more Ukraine's richest man vows to rebuild country after Zelensky accuses him of Russian coup - World News

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