Ukraine’s richest citizen, the billionaire businessman Rinat Akhmetov, is suing Russia in the European Court of Human Rights, seeking damages for losses he sustained due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Akhmetov said in a statement on June 27.
System Capital Management or SCM, which was founded and is owned by Akhmetov, is suing Russia for gross violations of its property rights during the war.
“Evil cannot go unpunished,” said Akhmetov.
“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.”
“This lawsuit is one of the first international legal steps against Russia to stop their ongoing crimes, destruction of the Ukrainian economy, and the plundering of Ukrainian assets.”
“Mr. Akhmetov asks the court to send a clear message to Russia that its contributions to the food security crisis and its steps to further cripple Ukraine’s economy will not be tolerated,” SCM said in a message on its website.
The businessman asked the case to be prioritized, given the urgency of the matter. He also requested the European court to apply its pilot procedure to his case, as Russia’s aggression is damaging private enterprises across the whole of Ukraine.
“The looting of Ukraine’s export commodities, including grain and steel, has already resulted in higher prices and people dying of hunger worldwide,” Akhmetov said.
“These barbaric actions must be stopped, and Russia must pay in full. I believe in justice, and I’m fighting for it.”
International law firm Covington & Burling LLP will be representing Akhmetov in this case.
Akhmetov is seeking damages for the violation of his property rights.
“While the precise amount cannot yet be assessed given the ongoing war, it is anticipated that Mr. Akhmetov is due billions of dollars from the Russian Federation for its violation of his human rights,” the company statement said.
Akhmetov is a Ukrainian entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Born in Donetsk, he has managed to amass a vast industrial empire in Ukraine, with most of his assets being folded into SCM. Akhmetov also owns Shakhtar football club, and is the founder of The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.
Established in 2000, SCM Group is an investor in sectoral sub-holdings and production assets under its umbrella. SCM’s largest investees include Metinvest, DTEK, Media Group Ukraine, ESTA Holding, UMG, Lemtrans, and HarvEast Holding. Operating companies of SCM are located in Ukraine, the European Union, and North America.
Before the Russian aggression against Ukraine, SCM’s sub-holdings and production assets employed nearly 200,000 people.