Rinat Akhmetov

Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov (Ukrainian: Ріна́т Леоні́дович Ахме́тов [r⁽ʲ⁾iˈnɑt leoˈn⁽ʲ⁾idowɪtʃ ɐxˈmɛtou̯]Russian: Рина́т Леони́дович Ахме́тов [rʲɪˈnat lʲɪɐˈnʲidəvʲɪtɕ ɐˈxmʲetəf]TatarCyrillic Ринат Леонид улы Әхмәтов, Latin Rinat Leonid uly Ӓkhmӓtov; born on 21 September 1966) is a Ukrainian billionaire businessman.[1] He is the founder and president of System Capital Management (SCM), and ranked among the wealthiest men in Ukraine.[2] As of June 2021, he was listed as the 327th richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of US 7.5 billion.[3] Some sources have claimed that Akhmetov has been involved in organized crime.[4][5], but Akhmetov has never been charged with a crime.[6][7] Akhmetov is the owner and president of the Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk. In 2006–2007 and 2007–2012, Akhmetov was a member of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) for the Party of Regions.[8][9][10]


Early life

Rinat Akhmetov was born in DonetskUkrainian SSR, to a working-class family. He is an ethnic Volga Tatar[11][12][13] and a practicing Sunni Muslim.[14] His father, Leonid Akhmetov was a coal-miner[9][15] and his mother, Nyakiya Nasredinovna, was a shop assistant.

Akhmetov had an older brother, Igor, who also worked as a coal miner but had to resign due to work-related health complications.[16] Igor died on 24 January 2021.[17]

Akhmetov earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Donetsk National University in 2001.[18][19]

Business career


Details regarding Akhmetov’s past, how he obtained his wealth after the fall of communism in Ukraine, and his activities between 1985 and 1995, remain controversial.[20][21] Akhmetov has stated in interviews that he successfully made risky business investments in the first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union,[21] and in 2010, denied he inherited any money from Akhat Bragin or anyone else: “I have earned my first million by trading coal and coke, and spent the money on assets that no one wanted to buy. It was a risk but it was worth it”.[22] Many publications in Ukraine and other European countries have made claims about Akhmetov’s alleged “criminal past”, some of which later retracted their statements.[20][23][24]Akhmetov and Leonid Kuchma, the second president of independent Ukraine

In his documentary book Donetsk Mafia: Anthology,[25] Ukrainian author Serhiy Kuzin claims Akhmetov held the role of a ‘mafia thug’ in his early years;[26] according to Hans van Zon, Professor of Central and Eastern European Studies in the University of Sunderland, “As early as 1986, Rinat and his brother Igor were involved in criminal activities.”[4]

In the 1980s, Akhmetov acted as an assistant to Akhat Bragin, whom law enforcement agencies regarded as a powerful crime boss;[21] allegedly in the illegal cloth trading business.[4] Andrew Wilson, a scholar specializing in Ukrainian politics, categorized Akhmetov as an alleged former ‘enforcer’ and ‘leader’ of “[Akhat] Bragin’s ‘Tatar’ clan”, responsible for the use of “mafia methods to push aside the ‘red directors’ of the Industrial Union of Donbas (ISD)”.[27] By the early 1990s, Akhmetov began acquiring property in Donetsk allegedly by means of extortion with the assistance of Volodymyr Malyshev, Lieutenant-General of The Head of Ministry of Internal Affairs Department in Donetsk Oblast.[4] Malyshev, now a member of Ukraine’s Parliament on the committee controlling law enforcement, is accused by Kuzin of using his position to do away with previously existing police records concerning Akhmetov shortly before becoming chief of security for Akhmetov’s company.[23] “In [the 1990s], Akhmetov was very different – he was totally private with no public persona, and was trying to find ways to deal with his ‘difficult past'”, noted U.S. ambassador William Taylor, citing prominent Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Taruta. Further in that article cited the answer of the spokesperson for Akhmetov addressed to the Kyiv Post: “We don’t know whether this phrase is authentic and what it actually means. Although, any accusations of Mr Akhmetov’s involvement in criminal structures is slander.”[28]

In October 1995, Bragin, president of Shakhtar Donetsk football club, was killed in a mysterious bombing along with six of his bodyguards at the team’s stadium during a match.[29] Some rumours associate Akhmetov with the death of Bragin.[27] Following the assassinations, Akhmetov is said to have “inherited a vast financial empire from Bragin”.[4]Akhmetov, Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Chernomyrdin

Akhmetov would head Dongorbank (formerly Akceptbank) in 1995.[30]

In September 1999, an official Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs report titled the “Overview of the Most Dangerous Organized Crime Structures in Ukraine” identified Akhmetov as a leader of an organized crime syndicate. The report tied the group to money laundering, financial fraud, and the control of numerous large and fictitious companies.[23][31] The report also says that the group’s activities “have been stopped,” and says further that their criminal natures “have not been confirmed”.[23]

Released in a WikiLeaks diplomatic cable, Volodymyr Horbulin, one of Ukraine’s most respected policy strategists and former presidential advisor, told the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine in 2006 that the Party of Regions, which “enjoyed deep pockets, being largely financed by billionaire Donetsk boss Rinat Akhmetov” is partly composed of “pure criminals” and “criminal and anti-democracy figures”.[32] In a U.S. diplomatic cable dated 3 February 2006, then U.S. Ambassador John Herbst referred to Akhmetov’s Party of Regions as “long a haven for Donetsk-based mobsters and oligarchs” and called Akhmetov the “godfather” of the Donetsk clan.[28]

After Ukraine’s Orange Revolution of late 2004, in an attempt to fight corruption, several prominent businessmen who were also Party of Regions members came under criminal investigation;[33] In 2011, Hennadiy Moskal, who in 2005 acted as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, gave an interview to Ukrainian magazine Профиль (profil-ua), where he claimed to have been under Presidential orders in 2005 to investigate and audit Akhmetov for his alleged role in organized crime. Concrete evidence was never officially revealed against him, nor his company. According to Moskal, the MVS investigated all incidents related to missing people in 1990s in Donetsk region, who had any property left, and its current owners, but no connections with Rinat Akhmetov and his entourage were found.[34] Looking back, Moskal concluded that “we had nothing on Akhmetov in 2005”.[34] According to political journal’s Post-Soviet Affairs, and The Nation, Akhmetov was investigated on murder charges and for his alleged role in organized crime in the Donetsk region. To avoid prosecution he was prompted to flee the country to Monaco.[34][35][36][37] In June 2005, Serhiy Kornich, then head of the Interior Ministry’s economic crimes department, stated publicly that Akhmetov was “the head of [an] organized crime group.”[38] That year, Borys Kolesnikov, a friend and associate who had been tied to Akhmetov since the 1980s, was arrested on charges of extortion and conspiracy to assassinate a rival Donetsk businessman.[35] Charges against Akhmetov and Kolesnikov were dropped in 2006 amid a significant rise in political power by the former,[35] and the cooperation of the Yuschenko government,[37] ending Akhmetov’s exile.

SCM Group

Akhmetov founded System Capital Management Group (JSC “SCM”) in 2000, and has been its sole proprietor since 2009.[39] During his career SCM has grown to be one of Ukraine’s leading financial and industrial firms[40] with assets including over 100 businesses in metals and mining, power generation, banking and insurance, telecommunications, media and real estate; and revenues of around $12.8 billion and has assets worth over $22.7 billion.[41] The largest company in the SCM Group is Metinvest, which is a mining and steel business and is generally agreed to be Ukraine’s largest private business and is one of the larger steel businesses in Europe.

In 2001, Epic, a Vienna-based investment company agreed to purchase 93% of Ukrtelecom, a telephone monopoly owned by SCM, for $1.3 billion.[42]

In June 2004,[43] Akhmetov and Viktor Pinchuk (the son-in-law of then-President Leonid Kuchma) acquired the steel factory Kryvorizhstal for roughly $800 million from the state in a 2004 tender despite much higher bids made by foreign companies.[44] Later, in 2005, the first Tymoshenko Government reversed this sale, and held a nationally televised repeat auction that netted a record-breaking $4.8 billion.[44]

SCM has been recognized as a leader of Ukrainian corporate social responsibility ratings, garnering the top nomination by Gvardiya Magazine‘s rankings of Ukraine’s “Socially Responsible Companies” in 2011. SCM had previously won in 2009,[45] and 2010.[46]

In 2008, UAH 3.4 million was given to compensate the victims and people whose relatives died in the blasts at Akhmetov’s Krasnolimanskaya and Karla Marksa coal mines.[47][48] A further UAH 600,000 was given to relatives of 6 miners killed in a methane blast at the Duvannaya coal mine.[49]

Akhmetov’s business empire has benefited enormously from his access to power.[50] Forbes reports that in January 2014, for example, his businesses won 31% of all state tenders.[50]

In March 2017, after the DPR leadership announced that it would establish external control over all Ukrainian businesses in the republic’s responsibility zone, Akhmetov released a statement saying that his businesses in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) would remain under Ukrainian jurisdiction and would not pay taxes to “self-proclaimed LPR and DPR”.[51]

In April 2017, a court in Pechersk, Kyiv seized Akhmetov’s shares in Ukrtelecom and TriMob, telephony and cellphone companies owned by Akhmetov. The assets seized were part of an investigation into the privatization of Ukrtelecom in 2011 and Akhmetov’s ties to Victor Yanukovich, exiled to Russia in 2014. SCM has denied all allegations and issued a statement saying they would defend their ownership rights.[52] On 19 October 2017, the state ruled that Akhmetov was to return all ownership rights to the state and pay a fine of $82 million for failing to fulfill privatization obligations.[53] In December 2017, as part of the Ukrtelecom ownership legal battle, a court in Cyprus issued an order to freeze $820 million in assets held by Akhmetov. In January 2018, a Dutch court issued an order, based on the same litigation, to “freeze SCM’s Netherlands-registered businesses, which include Ukraine’s largest steel company Metinvest and largest private power and coal producer, DTEK.”[54][55]

In June 2018 the Ukraine Supreme Economic Court ruled against the renationalization of Ukrtelecom and Akhemtov controls ownership of the company through SCM Holdings.[56]

In September of the same year Akhmetov was criticized over environmental concerns faced by residents of Mariupol caused by two steel plants, Ilyich Iron and Steel Works Plant and the Azov Stal Steel Plant, both owned by Metinvest.[57]


Akhmetov with Donbas oligarch Serhiy Taruta

Rinat Akhmetov has been number one in Korrespondent magazine annual Ukraine’s Top 50 richest people rating with the estimated wealth of:

  • 2006 – $11.8 bn[58]
  • 2007 – $15.6 bn[59]
  • 2008 – $31.1 bn[60]
  • 2009 – $9.6 bn[61]
  • 2010 – $17.8 bn[62]
  • 2011 – $25.6 bn[63]
  • 2012 – $17.8 bn[64]
  • 2013 – $18.3 bn[65]
  • 2014 – $10.1 bn[66]
  • 2019 – $7.7 bn[67]
  • 2020 – $7.7 bn[68]
  • 2021 – $8.5 bn[69]

Forbes‘ The World’s Billionaires rating:

  • 2006 – No. 451 with a net worth of $1.7 bil[70]
  • 2007 – No. 214 with $4.0 bn[71]
  • 2008 – No. 127 with $7.3 bn[72]
  • 2009 – No. 397 with $1.8 bn[73]
  • 2010 – No. 148 with $5.2 bn[74]
  • 2011 – No. 39 with $16 bn.[8]
  • 2012 – No. 39 with $16 bn.[8]
  • 2013 – No. 47 with $15.4 bn.[8]
  • 2015 – No. 201 with $6.7 bn.[75]
  • 2016 – No. 771 with $3.4 bn.[76]
  • 2017 – No. 359 with $4.6 bn[77]
  • 2018 – No. 334 with $5.5 bn[78]
  • 2019 – No. 272 with $6 bn[79]
  • 2020 – No. 875 with $2.4 bn[80]
  • 2021 – No. 327 with $7.6 bn[81]

In 2018 Akhmetov’s fortune was valued at approx. $5.9 billion. Bloomberg reported that he was the richest person in Ukraine and that he had regained all of his losses suffered after the conflict with Russia in 2013–2014.[82]

Political activity

Akhmetov has been noted as a financier and unofficial leader of the Party of Regions political party.[28][32]

Following the Orange Revolution, Akhmetov was pivotal in arranging a lasting relationship between his employee and close friend Paul Manafort and defeated presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovich.[83] Also, Akhmetov ensured proper translation services for Manafort through Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russia Army trained linguist and known Russian intelligence operative that operates Manafort’s office in Kyiv.[84] Kilimnik has been central to collecting fees owed to Manafort’s company by the Russia-friendly political party called Opposition Bloc.[84]

In a 13 September 2007 diplomatic cable released between prominent Ukrainian business partners Serhiy TarutaVitaliy Haiduk, and U.S. ambassador William Taylor, Taruta alleged that Akhmetov had in 1997 persuaded Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma to appoint Viktor Yanukovych governor of Donetsk oblast, who then in turn made Haiduk his deputy.[28] In follow up of the released cables, Akhmetov’s spokesperson refused comment and Haiduk denied the conversation taking place.[28]

Akhmetov was elected as a member of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) during the 2006 Ukrainian parliamentary election as a member of the Party of Regions.[9][18][85] Akhmetov was reelected during the 2007 parliamentary election again as a member of the Party of Regions.[21][86] However, he only appeared once in the Verkhovna Rada building during his inauguration.[85] Leader of the party’s faction in the Verkhovna Rada, Oleksander Yefremov, has mentioned that Rinat Akhmetov provides “substantive support” to the faction by providing what he referred to as “functioning expert groups he established that are counseling on draft laws”.[87][88] In December 2011 Akhmetov announced he was not going to participate in the 2012 parliamentary election.[89]

U.S. diplomatic cables revealed that Akhmetov posted $2 million bail in 2007 for the release of three members of the Party of Regions, including former Sumy Governor Volodymyr Shcherban, who was accused of election rigging, extortion, tax evasion and abuse of office.[90]

The Russian-language newspaper Segodnya, owned by Akhmetov, has drawn criticism for its alleged mandate favoring coverage of certain politicians and public figures, the journalists at the paper admitted.[91][92]

Reaction to the south-eastern conflict in Ukraine

Akhmetov has denied claims made by Pavel Gubarev (self-proclaimed “People’s Governor” of the Donetsk People’s Republic) in an interview published in the Russian state-controlled newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta on 12 May 2014.[93][94] According to Gubarev, Akhmetov has financed the separatist movement in the region, and that the separatists “all took money” from Akhmetov and others, saying that “As it turned out, two-thirds of the activists were supported by the oligarch Akhmetov”.[93] On 10 May 2014, Akhmetov’s Metinvest company announced it would be forming an unarmed militia of steelworker employees to stop looting by separatists and criminals in the city of Mariupol.[93][95] In a 19 May (2014) breaking news message on Ukrayina TV Akhmetov claimed the representative “of this Donetsk People’s Republic” were committing “genocide of Donbas“.[96] At his initiative the next day a so-called Peace March was held in the stadium Donbass Arena in Donetsk accompanied by cars beeping their horns at noon.[96] Akhmetov has vowed that “siren [will be] ringing every day at noon across all of Donbas until peace is established”.[96]

Akhmetov is helping the victims of the War in Donbas in South-Eastern Ukraine. As of March 2014 he had allocated UAH 35 million.[97][98] for this assistance. The Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Centre was established in August 2014 to provide maximum assistance to all civilians of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions affected by the military actions. The Centre has pooled resources of the Foundation and all SCM Group’s businesses and FC Shakhtar.[99] The activity of the Centre is dedicated to financial, humanitarian, medical and psychological assistance for the victims of the conflict in the South-Eastern Ukraine and evacuation from the hot spots in the East of Ukraine.[98][100]

In August 2014 Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine also started a new particular project called Humanitarian Aid Drives.[101] The purpose of this project is the regular delivery of food and children’s packages to Donbas. As of October 2016 over 10 million food packages were provided to IDPs and residents of 57 districts and settlements of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.[102] The package includes flour, sugar, cereals, oats, tinned foods, sunflower oil, stew, pasta, canned corn, gingerbreads and condensed milk.

Akhmetov also made numerous statements, since March 2014, appealing for integrity of Ukraine and finding peaceful solutions of the crisis.[96][103] He believes decentralization should be part of this peaceful solution.[103]

In March 2017 protesters attacked Akhmetov’s offices in Russian controlled areas.[104] Pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas region seized control of companies owned by energy conglomerate DTEK and steel company Metinvest both owned by Akhmetov. In addition, companies in the region controlled by the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) took control of several Akhmetov owned companies.[105]

Continued protests throughout 2017 have led to allegations of corruption and profiteering between Akhmetov and President Petro Poroshenko specifically over pricing for domestic coal suppliers and the buyout of DTEK debts by the government.[106]

Alleged coup involvement

In November 2021 Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Akhmetov of being enlisted to help plan a coup against him by Russia.[107] Akhmetov has denied these claims calling the allegations “an absolute lie.” The allegations were the culmination of a dispute between Zelensky and Akhmetov as part of Zelensky anti-corruption clean-up efforts. Akhmetov is also a noted opponent of Zelensky, as his TV channels backed one of his opponents in the 2019 election has been increasing critical in coverage of Zelensky. Especially since the government failed to reimburse one of his energy company subsidiaries for green energy purchased by state companies.[108][109] Akhmetov says that he does not interfere with the channels’ editorial policy and that it’s the “guests who come to the channels” and not the channels themselves that criticize Zelensky.[110] In turn, Zelensky’s MPs have boycotted what they view as hostile media.[111]

Sports and patronage

Main article: FC Shakhtar DonetskAkhmetov with players of FC Shakhtar Donetsk

Following the October 1995 bombing assassination of former team president Akhat Bragin at the team’s stadium, Akhmetov (who had served as Bragin’s right-hand man and himself narrowly missed the attempt on his life),[112] subsequently inherited operation of the Shakhtar Donetsk football club. On 11 October 1996, Akhmetov was appointed president of the team[113] Rinat Akhmetov envisioned Shakhtar as a winner of European cups, so he began restructuring the club to achieve this goal. He changed the approach to the club management and transferred the operational management to the professionals.[114] Under his leadership, FC Shakhtar became the country’s champion thirteen times, won the Ukrainian Cup thirteen times, took the Ukrainian Super Cup nine times, and won the UEFA Europa League Cup for the first time in the history of Ukraine.[115][116]

In 2009, Donbas Arena stadium was built in Donetsk at Rinat Akhmetov’s initiative. It’s the first stadium in Eastern Europe that was designed and built to the elite UEFA standards; its capacity is over 50,000 people.[117] Donbas Arena was named the best stadium of Euro 2012.[118] It ranks among 25 best stadiums in the history of the Champions League.[119]

FC Shakhtar had to leave its home city of Donetsk due to the War in Donbas in Ukraine. Since the spring of 2014, its training base has been located in Kyiv. The team changed multiple home stadiums, moving to Lviv (Arena Lviv, 2014–2017), Kharkiv (Metalist, 2017–2020), and finally Kyiv (NSC Olimpiyskiy, since 2020).[120][121][122] Meanwhile, from August 2014 and until losing control of the stadium in 2017 the club’s home stadium Donbas Arena served as a centre of humanitarian aid in Donetsk.[123] Volunteers were unloading the food products, forming the individual sets and passing them to people in need there.[124] During the fighting the Donbas Arena was seriously damaged as a result of shelling several times, the humanitarian aid distribution was continued.[125]

In March 2017, a spokesperson for Akhmetov’s foundation reported that humanitarian aid had been discontinued in the region after rebel organizations blocked access to the Shakhtar FC stadium, which serves as a center for relief efforts in the area.[126]

Personal life

Rinat Akhmetov is married to Liliya Nikolaievna Smirnova (born 1965), and has two sons with her, Damir (born 1988) and Almir (born 1997).[9]

Akhmetov owns London’s most expensive penthouse at One Hyde Park, which was originally purchased for a reported $213 million as a portfolio investment and spent another reported $120 million to fix them up.[127] The information about the deal was disclosed only four years later, in April 2011, after the asset has shown a steady annual rise.[128][129][130] In May 2013, the property was transferred from his company, SCM, to himself.[131]


Researcher Natalya Kolosova believes that Rinat Akhmetov is one of the first modern Ukrainian philanthropists who switched from spontaneous aid to a systematic approach.[132] Since 2006, Akhmetov has been among the leading philanthropists of Ukraine.[133] According to various sources, he is among the first in terms of the amount of funds allocated to charity.[134]

In 2005, on the initiative of Rinat Akhmetov, the SCM corporate charitable foundation Development of Ukraine was created (since 2018, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation).[135] Main areas its activity: national health, family, targeted assistance, dynamic culture, modern education.[136][137] Since March 2008, the fund has been separated from the company and operates as a personal charitable foundation of Rinat Akhmetov, it maintains a partnership with SCM.[138][139] This Foundation is one of the most famous charitable organizations in Ukraine.[140][141]

During 2007–2013 there was the Foundation for Effective Governance founded by Rinat Akhmetov.[142] The organization was supporting the authorities and civil society institutions of Ukraine in the development of programs for the long-term economic development of the state.[143][144] During its work, the Foundation was preparing The Ukraine Competitiveness Report for the World Economic Forum[145] and created two clusters in Lviv (IT and woodworking).[146]

In August 2014, on the basis of the Foundation for Development of Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center Pomozhem was created, which provides humanitarian assistance in the form of food packages, medicines, and psychological assistance to citizens. More than 800 thousand people received 12-kilogram packages every month. For three years, the Humanitarian Center saved more than 1,139,000 people from death, hunger and disease in eastern Ukraine and became the largest humanitarian mission in the country. More than 39 thousand people were evacuated from the combat zone by the resources of this organization. Since February 2017, the Humanitarian Center has been working only on the territory controlled by Ukraine.[147][148][149] In the Donetsk region, the Humanitarian Center is one of the most famous charitable organizations (2018).[140]

Starting from the year 2000, Rinat Akhmetov and his friend Igor Krutoy have been involved in a charity campaign on Saint Nicholas’ Day in Donetsk and Donetsk Oblast, visiting children deprived of parental care, orphans and children in hospitals.[150] In 2012, he donated $19 million to build an oncology research center.[151]

According to Akhmetov’s spokeswoman, Olena Dovzhenko, Akhmetov’ salary for being a member of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) was traditionally deferred to charity.[152]

In March 2020, Rinat Akhmetov began to financially help in the fight against COVID-19. After meeting with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, he began to oversee a number of regions (DonetskIvano-FrankivskLuhansk and Lviv Oblast) and individual cities (Kryvyi Rih).[153]



During the 2013–14 Euromaidan anti-government protests, Akhmetov became a target of protest as he was seen as a symbol of oppression. In December 2013 protesters picketed his residence in London on several occasions, urging him to cut ties with incumbent president Viktor Yanukovych.[154] In response, Akhmetov issued a statement condemning police brutality. On 31 December, Akhmetov reprimanded a group of protesters in public near his home in Donetsk.[155]

Following the Euromaidan Revolution and Donbas War, Akhmetov lost more than half of his wealth. His net value went down from $11.2 billion to $2.9 billion in 2017.[156] News reports suggest that much of his former wealth has been redistributed to Russian oligarchs.[157]

Disputes in the media

When dealing with public criticism and allegations concerning his past, Akhmetov has utilized a team of PR consultants and lawyers to protect his image and name. His team often contests reports on him that they consider to be libelous, scandalous, or inaccurate.[20] Critics accuse Akhmetov of going beyond protecting his name, but rather fear mongering investigative journalists.[20] As many court cases occur in London for its lax free speech laws, critics accuse Akhmetov and his legal team of abuse of libel tourism.[20] In January 2008, Akhmetov won a London libel court case “for damage to his reputation” for such claims,[23] while several other statements about his “criminal past” have been retracted by the media.

In a statement issued by Akhmetov’s lawyer Mark MacDougall, “Akhmetov has done a lot of work to protect his good name from false accusations, which might hurt the reputation of his family and business. As the result of it, many publications in Ukraine and other European countries had published retractions and apologies… [and] admitted that their claims are false. We think that these facts speak for themselves”.[23]

In 2007, the Kyiv Post, the primary English language daily newspaper in Ukraine, published an article relating to Mr. Akhmetov’s business transactions relating to the Dniproenergo thermoelectric generator and the Kryvorizhstal steel mill.[158] The newspaper published an apology stating that “on closer examination, we concluded these allegations[clarification needed] relating to Mr. Akhmetov were untrue and have no basis in fact.”[158]

In 2007, the German language Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (“NZZ”) retracted defamatory statements from published earlier article regarding Mr. Akhmetov’s early business career in the 1990s, noting that “there is no connection between Akhmetov … and organized crime in Ukraine” and “[t]he economic success of Akhmetov is not based by any means on criminally acquired starting capital.”[24]

In 2008, a judgment was obtained from the High Court of Justice in London after Obozrevatel, a Ukrainian language Internet publication refused to retract false and libelous statements alleging that Mr. Akhmetov was connected to criminal activity and violence. The Obozrevatel reporter (Tetiana Chornovol)[159] interviewed his former classmates and neighbors, and delved into his early years.[20] Following court pressure Obozrevatel issued an official apology stating: “The editorial hereby admits that there was unchecked and false information about Rinat Akhmetov present in the … articles … We hereby give our apologies to Rinat Akhmetov for the problems resulted from the above-mentioned publications.”[160][161] Tetiana Chornovol refused to issue an apology or acknowledge any wrongdoing.[159]

The website GoLocalProv.com, based in Providence, Rhode Island, published in 2010 allegations that Akhmetov had ties to organized crime.[162] Subsequently, PolitiFact engaged in a review of the allegations on GoLocalProv’s site and disputed the sources on which they were based, stating that “key elements of the [GoLocalProv] story are false or unproven” and that the story presented “suspicions, suggestions, innuendo, and conspiracy theories” as fact.[162] The GoLocalProv articles and audio shortly after their publishing were removed from the site. The publisher, Josh Fenton, explained that they disappeared for “technical reasons” and the radio station which aired the interview containing the allegations refused comment.[20]

In 2010, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro issued a retraction of false allegations it published on 18 January 2010 regarding Rinat Akhmetov, due to a lack of evidence to support their claims, and issued an apology.[163][164][165] Le Figaro had claimed that Akhmetov was “a scandalous Ukrainian oligarch” and that he was “a bandit in the past”.[165]

In 2013, Akhmetov’s legal representatives issued a press release in response to accusations in the media, which cited politicians and journalists, that implicated Akhmetov in the 1996 murder of Donetsk-based Ukrainian oligarch Yevhen Shcherban. The official statement stated that they “have not found any proof suggesting that Akhmetov was involved in Scherban’s or other businessmen’s killings. To be honest, some of the businessmen killed in the 1990s were Mr. Akhmetov’s close friends.”[166]

Connection to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign

In January 2019, Paul Manafort‘s lawyers submitted a filing to the court, in response to the Robert Mueller Special Counsel‘s accusation that Manafort had lied to investigators while supposedly co-operating with the investigation. Through an error in redacting, the document accidentally revealed that while Manafort was Donald Trump‘s campaign chairman, Manafort met with Konstantin Kilimnik, gave Kilimnik polling data related to Donald Trump’s 2016 United States Presidential campaign, and discussed a Ukraine-Russia peace plan for the Russo-Ukrainian War with Kilimnik. As a Russian Main Intelligence Directorate GRU agent, Konstantin Kilimnik is known member of Russia’s intelligence community.[167][a] Although most of the polling data was reportedly public, some was private Trump campaign polling data managed by Brad Parscale.[170][171][b] Manafort asked Kilimnik to pass the data to Ukrainians Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov.[172][173]


See also


  1. ^ Manafort has rejected questions about whether Kilimnik, with whom he consulted regularly, might be in league with Russian intelligence.[168] According to Yuri Shvets, Kilimnik previously worked for the GRU, and every bit of information about Kilimnik’s work with Manafort went directly to Russian intelligence.[169]
  2. ^ Eric Trump‘s wife, Lara (née Yunaska) Trump, was the liaison between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign headquarters in Trump Tower and Brad Parscale’s Giles-Parscale company.[170][171]


  1. ^ Kuzio, Taras (April 2005). “The Opposition’s Road to Success”. Journal of Democracy. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 16 (2): 124. doi:10.1353/jod.2005.0028S2CID 144409734.
  2. ^ Eight Ukrainians make Forbes magazine’s list of world billionairesKyiv Post (2 February 2015)
  3. ^ “The World’s Billionaires – Rinat Akhmetov”Forbes.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d e Van Zon, Hans (23 February 2007). “16 The Rise of Conglomerates in Ukraine: The Donetsk Case”. In Hogenboom, Barbara; Fernández Jilberto, Alex E (eds.). Big Business and Economic Development: Conglomerates and Economic Groups in Developing Countries and Transition Economies Under Globalisation. New York: Taylor & Francis. Routledge. p. 387. ISBN 978-0-415-41268-1. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  5. ^ Akhmetov, Rinat (9 October 2010). “GoLocalProv: Akhmetov becomes hot issue in Rhode Island governor’s race – Oct. 09, 2010”Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  6. ^ Baxter, Kevin. “Ongoing conflict in Ukraine wreaks havoc on country’s Premier League”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 April 2019. This report incorrectly stated that businessman Rinat Akhmetov has been “linked to organized crime.” Akhmetov has never been charged with any crime, and his representatives deny any connection.
  7. ^ “Libel Warriors – Feb. 11, 2011”Kyiv Post. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2019. Rhode Island journalists started checking into Akhmetov’s past and took particular note of the sensational 2005 remark about Akhmetov’s alleged “organized crime” ties made by Kornich. … Yet all the attempts by local journalists to find evidence of wrongdoing by Akhmetov led to nothing, not least because he has never been charged or convicted of any wrongdoing.
  8. Jump up to:a b c d “#39 Rinat Akhmetov”Forbes. March 2012.
  9. Jump up to:a b c d “#127 Rinat Akhmetov”Forbes. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
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  14. ^ Rich Company Forbes. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
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  17. ^ “Shakhtar offers its condolences”FC Shakhtar Donetsk. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  18. Jump up to:a b The World’s Billionaires – #214 Rinat AkhmetovForbes (3 August 2007)
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  21. Jump up to:a b c d (in Russian)Ринат Леонидович, Информационно-аналитический центр “ЛІГА”
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  24. Jump up to:a b The Free Library.com, 21 June 2007, “Swiss newspaper issues retraction of false news report and apologizes to Rinat Akhmetov.”
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  46. ^ System Capital Management, 20 April 2010, SCM Leads Corporate Social Responsibility in Ukraine (Ukrainian National Rating “Gvardiya”).
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  48. ^ Liga.net, 26 June 2008, Благотворительный фонд Ахметова выделил 3,4 млн.грн. семьям погибших и пострадавшим горнякам(Akhmetov’s charitable fund has allocated 3.4 million UAH to the families of the dead and injured miners).
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  88. ^ UNIAN, 1 March 2011, Yefremov “justified” absentee Akhmetov.
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  93. Jump up to:a b c Kyiv PostBillionaire Akhmetov denies claims that he finances separatism (UPDATE), 12 May 2014.
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  96. Jump up to:a b c d Akhmetov called a strike at the enterprises in protest, Ukrainian Media Group (20 May 2014)
    Ukrainian tycoon Rinat Akhmetov confronts rebellionBBC News (20 May 2014)
    Akhmetov’s “Peace March” in Donetsk took 20 minutesInterfax-Ukraine (20 May 2014)
    Businessman Akhmetov condemns ‘genocide of Donbas,’ calls for peaceful rally against ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’Interfax-Ukraine (20 May 2014)
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  130. ^ Hawkes, Alex (19 April 2011). “Rinat Akhmetov pays record £136.4m for apartment at One Hyde Park”The Guardian. UK.
  131. ^ “SCM transfers ownership of One Hyde Park property to Akhmetov”Kyiv Post. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  132. ^ Колосова, Наталія (2012). “Відродження традицій меценатства в культурному розвитку України на початку ХХІ століття” [Revival of traditions of patronage in the cultural development of Ukraine at the beginning of the XXI century]. Актуальні проблеми історії, теорії та практики художньої культури (in Ukrainian). Kyiv: Міленіум (29): 303–304. ISSN 2225-7586. Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022. Зараз в історії українського меценатства зароджується новий спосіб меценатської діяльності – від стихійної допомоги до системного підходу. Таку практику, властиву бізнесу, привнесли в цю сферу Віктор Пінчук та Ринат Ахметов. Їх досвід реалізації меценатських проектів більшість експертів оцінили як найбільш інноваційний та має високий соціальний ефект.
  133. ^ “Под контролем общества” [Under the control of society]. DELO (in Russian). 22 April 2009. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  134. ^ Волынец, У.А. (2014). Зенькова, И.В. (ed.). “Благотворительная деятельность общественных организаций в Украине” [Charitable activities of public organizations in Ukraine] (PDF). Экономическая теория в ХХІ веке: поиск эффективных механизмов хозяйствования : Материалы международной научно-практической конференции (Новополоцк, 23–24 окт. 2014 г.). (in Russian). NovopolotskPolotsk State University (2): 151. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.; “Топ-10 найбільших бізнесменів-філантропів України” [Top 10 largest philanthropic businessmen in Ukraine]. UNIAN (in Ukrainian). 15 December 2009. Archived from the original on 30 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.; “Крупнейшие благотворительные фонды публичных украинцев — 2010” [The largest charitable foundations of public Ukrainians – 2010]. Kontrakty (in Russian). 28 April 2011. Archived from the original on 24 May 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2022.; “Корреспондент: Мистецтво вимагає пожертвувань. Топ-10 благодійників України” [Korrespondet: Art requires donations. Top 10 philanthropists of Ukraine]. Korrespondent (in Ukrainian). 20 December 2011. Archived from the original on 4 November 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  135. ^ “БО “ФОНД РІНАТА АХМЕТОВА”” [The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Charitable Organization]. Opendatabot (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  136. ^ Воробьёва, О.Ю. (2011). “Благотворительность и меценатство как компонент корпоративной социальной ответственности бизнеса” [Charity and patronage as a component of corporate social responsibility of business]. Управління проектами та розвиток виробництва (in Russian). LuhanskEast Ukrainian Volodymyr Dahl National University3 (39): 93–98. ISSN 2222-8810. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  137. ^ Левицький, Артур (2014). Іжа, М.М. (ed.). “Інфраструктурне забезпечення проектної діяльності у соціальній сфері” [Infrastructure support of project activities in the social sphere] (PDF). Актуальні проблеми державного управління (in Ukrainian). OdesaORIDU NADU1 (57): 84. ISSN 1993-8330. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  138. ^ Дєліні, М.М. (2014). “Проблеми впровадження корпоративної соціальної відповідальності” [Problems of implementation of corporate social responsibility] (PDF). Вісник Одеського національного університету (in Ukrainian). OdesaOdessa University19 (2/5): 40. ISSN 2304-0920. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  139. ^ Євтушенко, В.А. (2013). “Внутрішні та зовнішні інституційні форми корпоративної соціальної відповідальності” [Internal and external institutional forms of corporate social responsibility] (PDF). Проблеми і перспективи розвитку підприємництва (in Ukrainian). KharkivKharkiv National Automobile and Highway University1: 42. ISSN 2226-8820. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  140. Jump up to:a b Лапіна, М.; Кузьміна, О. (2019). “Благодійна діяльність у сучасній Україні” [Charitable activity in modern Ukraine] (PDF). Вісник Приазовського державного технічного університету (in Ukrainian). MariupolState Higher Education Institution “Pryazovskyi State Technical University” (4): 34–35. ISSN 2225-6733. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  141. ^ Діяльність благодійних організацій та доброчинні практики українців [Activities of charitable organizations and charitable practices of Ukrainians] (PDF) (in Ukrainian). Kyiv: Corestone Group, GfK Ukraine. 2018. pp. 16–17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 May 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.; “Благодійність в Україні: погляд зсередини” [Charity in Ukraine: an inside look] (PDF) (in Ukrainian). KyivСоціоінформ. 2019: 41–43. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  142. ^ “Ахметов закрыл один из своих фондов” [Akhmetov closed one of his funds]. IPress.ua (in Russian). 15 January 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  143. ^ Drzeniek Hanouz, Margareta; Geiger, Thierry, eds. (2008). The Ukraine Competitiveness. Report 2008: Towards Sustained Growth and Prosperity. Geneva: World Economic Forum. p. 266. CiteSeerX 978-92-95044-05-0. Archived from the original on 30 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  144. ^ Чикаренко, І. (2011). “Імплементація сучасних менеджмент-орієнтованих підходів у реалізацію концепції кластеризації економіки міста” [Implementation of modern management-oriented approaches in the implementation of the concept of clustering the city’s economy]. Державне управління та місцеве самоврядування (in Ukrainian). Dnipro: DRIDU NADU. 2 (9): 217–226. ISSN 2414-4436. Archived from the original on 30 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  145. ^ Романко, О.П. (2018). “Методи та способи здійснення оцінки конкурентоспроможності регіону: світова практика і український досвід” [Methods and ways of assessing the competitiveness of the region: world practice and Ukrainian experience]. Економіка та держава (in Ukrainian). Kyiv (4): 44. ISSN 2306-6806. Archived from the original on 30 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  146. ^ Pavlysh, E. V.; Poklonskyy, S. K. (2013). “Clusters and cluster Policy in Ukraine”Економічний вісник ДонбасуUniversity of LuhanskInstitute of Industrial Economics of NASU4 (34): 113. ISSN 1817-3772. Archived from the original on 30 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022. Here the cooperation of Monitor Group and Foundation for Effective Governance can be mentioned. They lead common work to enhance economic development of separate regions and entire country. One of the arrangements is creating clusters at the territory of the regions taking into account their special features and characteristics. It was planned to create clusters in Lvov, Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk regions. Two clusters which are now completely finished and functioning are located in Lvov. These are woodworking and IT clusters. The woodworking cluster is presented by three companies and a university. One of the companies is relatively big and takes a significant part of Ukrainian wood export. IT cluster is presented by six softwaredeveloping companies, two universities and two government institutions.
  147. ^ “Longing for silence: Diplomacy fails the folk on the edge”The Economist. 21 May 2015. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  148. ^ Ihor Burdyha (2 March 2017). “Наступ на Ахметова — які наслідки матиме закриття гумцентрів “Допоможемо”” [Attack on Akhmetov — what are the consequences of closing the “Pomozhem” Humanitarian Centers]. DW (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 4 November 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  149. ^ Вишневський, Юрій (18 December 2017). “Топ-5 іменних благодійних фондів України” [TOP 5 personal charitable foundations of Ukraine]. Delovaya Stolitsa (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 30 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  150. ^ “Rinat Akhmetov has played for the children”FC Shakhtar. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  151. ^ Cnaan Liphshiz (6 February 2013). “Jews occupy top 3 places on Ukrainian list of philanthropists”JTA. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  152. ^ “Ахметов за рік заробив 800 мільйонів” [Akhmetov earned 800 million a year]. Ekonomichna Pravda (in Ukrainian). 4 April 2012. Archived from the original on 15 May 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  153. ^ Бевз, Тетяна (2020). “Регіональні особливості функціонування політичної системи України в контексті глобалізаційного виклику пандемії COVID-19” [Regional features of the functioning of the political system of Ukraine in the context of the globalization challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic]. Соціум. Документ. Комунікація (in Ukrainian). PereiaslavHryhoriy Skovoroda University in Pereyaslav (9/2): 21. doi:10.31470/2518-7600-2020-9/2-11-32ISSN 2518-7600S2CID 233798245. Archived from the original on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  154. ^ Henry Meyer; Kateryna Choursina; Daryna Krasnolutska. “Ukraine’s Oligarchs May Switch Sides Over Abandoned EU Trade Deal – Businessweek”Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  155. ^ “Akhmetov talks to protesters in Donetsk (PHOTO, VIDEO)”Kyiv Post. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  156. ^ “Rinat Akhmetov: Too Big To Tame”Kyiv Post. 20 October 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  157. ^ “How Vladimir Putin lost Ukraine”New Statesman. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  158. Jump up to:a b Kyiv Post, 21 February 2008, “Rinat Akhmetov – The Kyiv Post’s apology”.
  159. Jump up to:a b Kyiv Post, January 2012, Investigative journalist runs for parliament to fight corruption, by Oksana Grytsenko.
  160. ^ Фокус (Focus.ua), 15 January 2008, Ахметов выиграл суд у Интернет-издания. Ответчик удивлен (Akhmetov wins libel case against internet site. Defendant surprised by verdict.)
  161. ^ Обозреватель (Obozrevatel)Официальное извинение Ринату Ахметову (Official apology to Rinat Akhmetov). Obozrevatel agreed to pay $100,000 to a charitable foundation of Akhmetov’s choosing as compensation for the false statements Obozrevatel had published on 19 and 26 January 2007.
  162. Jump up to:a b “Website ignores key facts in bid to tie Lincoln Chafee to organized crime in Ukraine”PolitiFact Rhode Island. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  163. ^ “French Newspaper Issues Apology to Ukrainian Businessman and Political Leader Rinat Akhmetov”Reuters. 29 January 2010. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012.
  164. ^ PR Newswire, 28 January 2010, “French newspaper issues apology to Ukrainian businessman and political leader Rinat Akhmetov”.
  165. Jump up to:a b Kyiv Post, 29 January 2010, “French newspaper issues apology to Ukrainian businessman Akhmetov for false report”.
  166. ^ Interfax-Ukraine (25 January 2013). “Defense: Akhmetov not involved in high-profile murders”Kyiv Post. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  167. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (18 August 2016). “Manafort’s man in Kiev”Politico. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  168. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P.; Stern, David (8 March 2017). “Authorities looked into Manafort protégé; An associate of an ex-Trump campaign chairman is suspected of connections to Russian intelligence”Politico. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  169. ^ Голицына, Наталья (3 March 2016). “Зачем Путину Трамп?”Радио Свобода (in Russian). Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  170. Jump up to:a b Glueck, Katie (7 June 2017). “The face of Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign”The News & ObserverRaleigh, North Carolina. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  171. Jump up to:a b Horwitz, Jeff (27 February 2018). “Trump campaign chief lends name to penny stock tied to felon”Associated Press. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  172. ^ Polantz, Katelyn (8 January 2019). “Mueller believes Manafort fed information to Russian with intel ties”CNN. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  173. ^ LaFraniere, Sharon; Vogel, Kenneth P.; Haberman, Maggie (8 January 2019). “Manafort Accused of Sharing Trump Polling Data With Russian Associate”New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  174. ^ Президент України Віктор Янукович Офіційне інтернет-представництво (Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine, official website) Archived 27 November 2012 at WebCite, 20 August 2010, Указ Президента України № 829/2010 (Decree of the President of Ukraine, number 829/2010)
  175. ^ Ukrainian GovernmentУказ Президента України (Edict of the President of Ukraine), Документ 697/2006, 19 August 2006 (Edict 697/2006 as of 19 August 2006), Про відзначення державними нагородами України (State awards of Ukraine), 19 August 2006.
  176. ^ Ukrainian GovernmentУказ Президента України (Edict of the President of Ukraine), Документ 1214/2004, 11 October 2004 (Edict 1214/2004 as of 11 October 2004), Про відзначення державними нагородами України ветеранів та активістів українського футболу (State awards of Ukrainian veterans and of people involved in Ukrainian football), 11 October 2004.
  177. ^ Ukrainian GovernmentУказ Президента України (Edict of the President of Ukraine), Документ 598/2002, 2 July 2002 (Edict 598/2002 as of 2 July 2002), Про відзначення державними нагородами України спортсменів та керівників акціонерного товариства “Футбольний клуб “Шахтар”, м. Донецьк (State awards to Ukrainian athletes and the heads of “FC” Shakhtar “Donetsk), 2 July 2002.
  178. ^ Ukrainian GovernmentУказ Президента України (Edict of the President of Ukraine), Документ 1152/1999, 10 September 1999 (Edict 1152/1999 as of 10 September 1999), Про присвоєння почесного звання “Заслужений працівник фізичної культури і спорту України” працівникам Донецької області , м. Донецьк (Cconferring the honorary title “Honored Worker of Physical Culture and Sports of Ukraine” to the workers of Donetsk), 2 July 2002.
  179. ^ Associated Press of Pakistan Archived 27 November 2012 at WebCite154 citizens, 17 foreign nationals conferred civil awards, 13 August 2007.
  180. ^ 24UA Ахметова наградили премией “Признание дончан” (Akhmetov was awarded the “Shakhtar Recognition” prize), 17 January 2008.
  181. ^ Foundation for Development of Ukraine, 16 January 2008, Rinat Akhmetov announced Donetsk Citizens Recognition Prize winner in the nomination “Caring for the future”. (See also news archive[permanent dead link]).
  182. ^ Украинское рейтинговое агентство (Ukrainian Rating Agency) Archived 31 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 12 August 2006, Президент получил официальные атрибуты Почетного гражданина Донецка (The President received formal accreditation as an honorary citizen of Donetsk)

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