Rinat Akhmetov, founder and shareholder of System Capital Management (SCM) Group and Ukrainian philanthropist, announced today the filing of an application to the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) against the Russian Federation for grievous violations of his property rights during Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine.
In addition to the incalculable human suffering it has caused, Russia’s invasion has resulted in massive destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure. The bombardment of the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol by Russian artillery seeking to eliminate the last vestiges of Ukrainian resistance in that city has become an international symbol of Russia’s contempt for international law and human rights. As the owner of Azovstal and many other industrial facilities that have been targeted by the invading Russian armed forces, Mr. Akhmetov seeks to ensure that Russia is held accountable for the destruction it is wreaking across Ukraine.
In parallel with the application, Mr. Akhmetov filed an urgent request for interim measures, seeking a court order preventing Russia from engaging in further blockading, looting, diversion and destruction of grain and steel produced by SCM’s companies. 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.
Given the urgency and seriousness of the matter, Mr. Akhmetov has asked that the case be accorded priority status. Mr. Akhmetov also has requested that the Court apply its pilot procedure to this case, as the root cause of the violations of Mr. Akhmetov’s rights -- Russian aggression, destruction, and expropriation of property -- has had similar devastating consequences to business owners throughout Ukraine.
“Evil cannot go unpunished. 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,” said Rinat Akhmetov, the shareholder of SCM Holdings. “The looting of Ukraine’s export commodities, including grain and steel, has already resulted in higher prices and people dying of hunger worldwide. These barbaric actions must be stopped, and Russia must pay in full. I believe in justice, and I am fighting for it.”
“It is clear that Russia is violating the basic human rights of Ukrainians with each day that this invasion continues. Rinat Akhmetov’s application shows that the victims of this senseless aggression have legal options available to them to hold Russia accountable,” said Jonathan Gimblett, partner at Covington & Burling LLP, the international law firm representing Mr. Akhmetov in this matter. Partner Marney Cheek added, “We trust that the Court will hold Russia to its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and provide Mr. Akhmetov and other Ukrainians who have suffered as a result of this war with the justice they deserve.” Mr. Bart van Vooren of Covington's Brussels office serves as Mr. Akhmetov's legal representative before the Court, with Ms. Marney Cheek, Mr. Jonathan Gimblett, and Mr. Nikhil Gore advising.
Akhmetov is seeking compensation from the Russian Federation for its trampling of his property rights. While the precise amount of damages 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.
ABOUT RINAT AKHMETOV
Mr. Rinat Akhmetov (55) is a Ukrainian entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Stemming from Donetsk, Ukraine, he built his investment company, System Capital Management (SCM), into a leading Ukrainian investment group with global presence. He is also the owner of the Football Club “Shakhtar” (Donetsk) and 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 on Ukraine, sub-holdings and production assets of SCM had employed nearly 200,000 people.