Alexander Borodai, former “prime minister” of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR), told a meeting of Russian nationalists recently that Rinat Akhmetov was supporting the DNR terrorists.
The meeting was organized in Moscow on March 14 by Egor Prosvirin, editor of the “Sputnik and Pogrom” site, and a video of the proceeding was published on YouTube on March 26. According to the publication Chetvertaya Vlast (The Forth Estate), this is the first time a claim has been made so openly about the cooperation between the oligarch and the terrorists.
When asked why Rinat Akhmetov’s property in the “people’s republics” has not yet been nationalized as promised earlier, Borodai said it would not be practical.
“Let’s imagine that we did nationalize Mr. Akhmetov. The businesses that belong to Rinat Akhmetov located on the territory of DNR have been working all this time with amazing stability,” he explained. “Mr. Akhmetov, who all this time has been a pillar and a founder of Ukrainian politics, a man who informally has been practically ‘holding up’ Ukraine, finds the current situation advantageous. Let me explain why. He has a lots of enemies among the current Kyiv authorities and in the establishment. Well, Akhmetov finds it useful that businesses located on the territory of DNR are manufacturing. It is advantageous for him to have these products exported. They have to be shipped. Where? To Italy. And how? Through the ports. Which ones? The only port available for him is Mariupol.”
Borodai also stated quite explicitly that Mariupol has not been taken by terrorist forces only because they actually had an agreement with Akhmetov. The separatists left the Ukrainian port for the oligarch to enable him to export products of the companies in the occupied territories, he said, and Akhmetov in turn began to support the DNR terrorists with his products.
“So do you know why we didn’t take Mariupol in September even though that possibility existed? because how could he bring his products from the terrorist territory (according to the West) of the ‘Donetsk Republic’ to Italy? Well, obviously, there is no way. He can’t take them out. Accordingly, he has to take them out of Ukrainian territory, and the only accessible port for him is Mariupol. Odesa is not available. The Odesa ports are controlled by Kolomoisky, and he would never let Akhmetov in. Therefore, Mariupol is the only possible way for Akhmetov’s businessess to function. It needs to remain under the Ukrainian blue and yellow flag,” he said.
Furthermore, “Akhmetov has exported his products to Italy and received the money,” Borodai added. “What did he spend the money on? Well, naturally, on Mr. AKhmetov first of all, what else. And do you know the amount of humanitarian aid that Mr. Akhmetov supplies to DNR? The ‘Donetsk Republic’ lives partly from this humanitarian assistance. And in Mr. Akhetov’s companies employees who are citizens of DNR get paid. Let’s just imagine that we did nationalize the businesses of Mr. Akhmetov. And all this became our property. And what would we do with it? Would we take the products to Italy and sell them? To whom? Imagine DNR representatives knocking on some Milan office door saying ‘Here we brought you ingots, 100,000 tons of ingots.'”
Borodai’s monologue and his admission that there are agreements between “DNR” separatists and Rinat Akhmetov caused outrage among the meeting participants. Prosvirin interrupted Borodai several times claiming that any Russian oligarch could have taken care of exporting DNR products. However, Borodai stated that Russian oligarchs would not be able to do that.
“No one among the Russian oligarchs would take on such a project. First, Russia has plenty of similar products and doesn’t know what to do with them. Our manufacturing, including steel, is currently running at 40% capacity. International contracts are concluded for certain definite shipments and then renegotiated. And any expert could easily determine the source of the stolen products. In other words, Russians cannot sell Akhmetov’s products; it’s really not realistic. And what would happen if they aren’t sold? There would be no humanitarian assistance, and the workers, engineers and all the others wouldn’t be paid. And what would that mean for the ‘Donetsk Republic’? Famine. Simple famine. Not what we have now, but a real, serious one,” he explained.
Shocked by the rather cynical comments of Borodai, Prosvirin stated that the war in the Donbas turned out to be in vain. “Everything will be exactly the same, only the signs will be changed and half of the city will be bombed out. You can be against fascism, for fascism, be antifascist or fascist, anything at all, but the main thing is that the results of the privatizations of the 1990s are sacred,” he exclaimed sarcastically.
In response Borodai said that no one promised a social revolution in the Donbas. The main purpose of the war was an imperial national revolution in the name of greater Russia.