Mariupol-based Illich steel plant ‘gifted’ to businessman close to Kadyrov — BBC
Mariupol-based Illich steel plant ‘gifted’ to businessman close to Kadyrov (Photo:24tv.ua)
People from Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov's entourage who fought in Ukraine have begun to receive assets in the occupied Ukrainian cities, the Russian service of the BBC reported on Feb. 13.
In one case, a businessman from Ramzan Kadyrov's circle has been "awarded" Illich Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol.
A BBC investigation found that in late January Chechen businessman Valid Korchagin became a co-owner of the Illich Iron and Steel Works, which is registered in the self-proclaimed "DPR” – the sham republic the Kremlin set up in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast in 2014.
According to the BBC, Korchagin is connected to the family of Senator Suleiman Geremeyev, an ally of Kadyrov.
The BBC believes that the company may start restoring the steel plant in war-torn Mariupol, which is legally owned by Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov's Metinvest group.
Yuriy Muray, a resident of occupied Makiyivka, is listed as the head of the company registered in the "DPR". Korchagin became a co-owner of the plant at the end of January when he received 50% of its shares.
The main activity of the entity that is trying to take over the plant is the production of iron, steel, and ferroalloys.
According to Ilya Shumanov, general director of Transparency International's Russian office, the Geremeyev family gained access to the plant as a reward for fighting in Ukraine. Shumanov suggests that the company was registered in Korchagin's name because all the Geremeyevs are "public servants.”
Last December, the courts opened a bankruptcy case against Illich Iron and Steel Works. The initiator was the Avdiyivka Coke Plant, which, like the Mariupol plant, is part of the Metinvest group.
In August, NV reported that the Russian occupation “administration” began dismantling Illich Iron and Steel Works for scrap metal.
The Russian military also used residents of Mariupol to clear the Illich Iron and Steel Works of Mariupol of mines.
As a result, at least 10 people were killed.
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