Directions for Ukraine’s development revealed by the war

The Russian military invasion has led to a substantial reduction in the influence of wealthy Ukrainians. This is primarily attributed to the halt of internal political competition, both within the media and the parliament, resulting in a diminished role in areas where their impact was previously pronounced. The major political forces have rallied behind the president in the defence of the country, resulting in the passage of laws with near-unanimous support.

Additionally, major television stations, predominantly owned by monopolists, have opted to collaborate on broadcasting a joint news programme. The owners’ control over broadcasting has been further weakened by legal regulations. Some have suffered losses in assets due to the war and occupation, coupled with significant financial setbacks resulting from the economic crisis and export challenges.

Impact of the War on a Prominent Businessman’s Assets

Rinat Akhmetov, a well-known Ukrainian businessman, unequivocally declared his pro-Ukrainian stance from the onset of the invasion. Unfortunately, during the full-scale invasion, he experienced a substantial loss, amounting to about two-thirds of his fortune, as discussed in detail in his interview with The Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/12/08/ukraine-oligarchs-power-war/), where he sheds light on the transformations within Ukraine.

Despite these considerable losses, the businessman remains an active supporter of Ukraine. His foundation is actively involved in providing humanitarian aid to the population, while the Steel Front initiative has redirected the efforts of functioning businesses to assist the Ukrainian army. Over two years after the invasion, Rinat Akhmetov has donated UAH 7.6 billion (more than $223 million) to the war efforts.

Specialised steelmakers have shifted their focus to the mass production of items aiding the Ukrainian military in their fight against the aggressor. This includes the manufacturing of armoured vests, metal shelters, anti-tank hedgehogs, stoves, etc. Additionally, special “lancet catchers” have been deployed to the front, designed to neutralise attacks by kamikaze drones.

Outlook

As the war’s duration remains uncertain, it is difficult to predict its end. However, once the war is over, monopolists are likely to face significant financial liquidity issues. The future form of the Ukrainian political landscape is also unclear. Presently, the government enjoys widespread support.

The president could leverage these circumstances to diminish the influence of financially weakened elites in politics and the media. However, it’s hard to predict if he could sustain this public favour during peacetime. The country may receive funds from Western nations

for reconstruction in the future, and the international community will play a

pivotal role in monitoring expenditures to prevent a resurgence of corrupt practices in Ukraine.

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