Ukraine’s richest person, Rinat Akhmetov, is suing Russia in the European Court of Human Rights, claiming violation of property rights in connection with the invasion of his home country. According to the Financial Times, Akhmetov is the majority owner of Metinvest, Ukraine’s largest steel producer, and the owner of two steel plants, including Azovstal.
The vast Azovstal iron and steelworks was the last hold-out of Ukrainian forces in the devastated port city of Mariupol until forces surrendered last month.
In his lawsuit, Rinat Akhmetov cites the bombardment of the Azovstal steel complex and the destruction of infrastructure brought upon by Putin’s war on Ukraine.
According to a statement issued by the billionaire’s System Capital Management group, Akhmetov also sought a “court order preventing Russia from engaging in further blockading, looting, diversion and destruction of grain and steel produced by SCM’s companies.”
“Evil cannot go unpunished. Russia’s crimes against Ukraine and our people are egregious, and those guilty of them must be held liable. With the help of the best Ukrainian and American lawyers, I have lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights for damages,” said the richest oligarch of Ukraine, whose net worth is an estimated $10 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. “The looting of Ukraine’s export commodities, including grain and steel, has already resulted in higher prices and people dying of hunger worldwide,” Akhmetov added.
Once reputed to be close to Moscow, Akhmetov has thrown his weight behind the authorities in Kyiv since a Russian-backed insurgency began in 2014.He also denounced Russian troops for committing "crimes against humanity against Ukrainians" after the Kremlin launched its invasion on February 24.