How the war triggered a change in Ukraine's social order

The Russian invasion of February 2022 fundamentally changed the political regime and social order in the country. However, the commitment of President Zelensky's administration to fighting monopolists not only survived the outbreak of a large-scale war, but also intensified, partly because of wartime politics.

How the war triggered a change in Ukraine's social order
Trukhanov Ostrov, Kyiv, Ukraine

By the late spring of the year before last, the Ukrainian government had adapted to the war situation and endorsed a multi-faceted approach, while simultaneously pursuing anti-corruption efforts. Continuing anti-corruption efforts and combating the influence of the wealthiest individuals have become important to maintain the trust of Ukraine's Western allies, who have provided Ukraine with military, political, and financial support. European integration can protect Ukraine from a return to pre-war practices.

The presidential administration has also begun to prepare the country for the possibility of a long war and for Ukraine's future recovery. The fight against monopolists and corruption is central to both efforts. And the martial law situation has given the president and his team more opportunities for this fight.

Changes in Rinat Akhmetov's business

Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, has lost more than half of his fortune to the Russian invasion.

  • The biggest blow was the seizure of Mariupol. This city was home to two powerful steel mills that were Metinvest's most valuable assets.
  • The second biggest losses were Avdiivka Coke and two thermal power plants in Luhansk and Enerhodar.
  • All of Akhmetov's businesses have suffered: agroholdings have lost agricultural land, and DTEK energy company is under constant threat of enemy shelling.

Many experts say that such losses have become an important part of the changes inside Ukraine. Reducing the influence of monopolists will make the market more dynamic and competitive. This, in turn, will make the economy transparent, diversified and efficient. Thus, a more democratic country focused on Western models is in the making.

Rinat Akhmetov has repeatedly stated that he supports the country’s economic and social development. Please read his interview here:

The businessman is now focused on charity projects, having donated more than $223 million (UAH 7.6 billion) to help civilians and the military. His foundation keeps implementing many important humanitarian and military aid initiatives. Ukrainians have received 700,000 medicines since the beginning of the war and over 13 million food packages over ten years of the war. As part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front initiative, his businesses keep producing strategically important devices for the army, including anti-tank hedgehogs, stoves, hooks, etc., as well as defence against Russian drones.