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Ukraine’s richest man vows to rebuild city of Mariupol

Ukraine’s richest man has pledged to help rebuild the besieged city of Mariupol.

Rinat Akhmetov, who owns Ukraine’s biggest steelmaker, Metinvest, said he was sure the country’s “brave soldiers” would defend the southern city.

He said: “Mariupol is a global tragedy and a global example of heroism. For me, Mariupol has been and will always be a Ukrainian city.

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

Mr Akhmetov addedd: “I talked to people in the streets, I met with workers. My ambition is to return to a Ukrainian Mariupol and implement our (new production) plans so that Mariupol-produced steel can compete in global markets as before.”

According to Forbes magazine, Mr Akhmetov’s net worth in 2013 reached $15.4 billion and it currently stands at $3.9 billion. 

“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,” he added. 

“I am confident that, as the country’s biggest private business, SCM will play a key role in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

“We will definitely need an unprecedented international reconstruction programme, a Marshall Plan for Ukraine.

“I trust that we all will rebuild a free, European, democratic, and successful Ukraine after our victory in this war.” 

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