Humanitarian aid of Ukrainian iron and steel companies reached more than $100 million in six months
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, the term «social responsibility of business» has acquired a new meaning. Ukrainian iron and steel industry, as during the pandemic, was actively involved in humanitarian activities. The spectrum of this support is quite wide. Despite the fact that most of the iron and steel companies are located next to or directly in the zone of active hostilities, they have not stopped helping the state and citizens since the beginning of the war.
The spectrum of support from the domestic iron and steel industry changes in accordance with the current requests of the state, the Armed Forces, and vulnerable sections of the population. In six months, humanitarian aid from iron and steel companies reached more than $100 million. Significant state support was, in particular, advance payment of taxes in February-March 2022 significantly supported our state. In particular:
- UAH 1 billion of taxes to the state and local budgets were paid in advance by the SCM company and the Ferrexpo group;
- ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih paid the rent for mineral extraction in the amount of UAH 2.2 billion in advance;
- At the beginning of March, the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant (NFP) prematurely paid about UAH 400 million in taxes for the first quarter of 2022 to the budgets of various levels.
Iron and steel enterprises took an active part in preparing for the defense of cities and regions: they used their special equipment and workers, provided construction materials, and produced a large number of anti-tank hedgehogs.
The equipment of iron and steel companies is always on the alert in critical moments – as after the massive rocket attack on Kryvyi Rih on September 14, when the dam of the Karachuny reservoir was damaged. Thus, Metinvest’s enterprises helped to strengthen the coastline with crushed stone, the machinery of the proccesing plants worked to eliminate flooding. ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih also provided heavy and special equipment at that time.
Companies support their employees who joined the Armed Forces, and their families. They also help in moving employees, in particular, by opening vacancies for them.
The Ukrainian iron and steel industry actively helps on the medical front as well: if necessary, they hand over cars, tactical first-aid kits, consumables, medicines and equipment. The list of assistance is formed in response to the requests of the military, doctors and medical institutions.
Metinvest together with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, since the beginning of the war, has handed over surgical instruments, medicines and equipment worth more than 15.5 million hryvnias to the Zaporizhzhia Military Hospital. The last batch of medicines from Zaporizhstal in September included about 18,000 units for a total amount of over 525,000 UAH. This supply includes 15 items, mostly medicines for therapeutic treatment and post-operative rehabilitation – according to the doctors’ request.
In general, the company’s medical program covers five cities – Zaporizhzhia, Kryvyi Rih, Avdiyivka, Kamianske and Pokrovsk. The total volume of its financing has already exceeded UAH 130 million.
Viktor and Olena Pinchuk Foundation together with the company Interpipe as of June 2022 purchased and delivered 10 armored ambulance vehicles from the UK, handed over more than 50.5 thousand tactical first-aid kits, 77.5 thousand tourniquets and 32 thousand bandages. Over 2,500 IFAK tactical first-aid kits were received by paramedics from «Hospitaliers» and medics of the territorial defense. Also, 46 hospitals in 17 frontline cities received the necessary equipment, medicines and consumables.
ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih recently handed over to the military administration of Kryvyi Rih 11 ambulances worth UAH 11 million. Ambulances will serve in areas bordering the war zone. They are adapted for operation in difficult road conditions.
Companies also serves the civilian needs of hospitals. Thus, Zaporizhstal, since the beginning of September, has supplied almost 35 tons of medical oxygen to the Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions. The oxygen is used to treat patients with COVID-19 and other oxygen-dependent patients – this is relevant with the onset of autumn and the increased risk of viral infections. In total, during the six months of 2022, as part of Metinvest’s Steel Front assistance, Ukrainian medical institutions received 1,072 tons of oxygen.
Birds for the Armed Forces
In July, the UNITED24 fundraising platform, together with the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Digital, announced the launch of the «Army of Drones» complex project. Now this initiative is a priority of the state in the direction of «Defense and demining».
There is a huge need for drones on the frontline, so there is a constant demand for them. Iron and seel companies also contribute to providing defenders with «eyes» in the sky.
Thus, in September, Metinvest handed over a batch of 300 drones with a total cost of UAH 50 million to the Main Intelligence Directorate (MID) of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the Ground Forces. This batch has became the biggest for the company since the beginning of the war. The new drones are equipped with thermal imagers and optical zoom, and have additional batteries. Their flight range is 10 km, and the time in the air is approximately 40 minutes. Military specialists will additionally work with drones’ software. In total, since the beginning of the war, Metinvest has handed over approximately 800 drones to the defenders of Ukraine.
At the end of August, four military brigades, defending the country in the east and south, received the Furia unmanned intelligence complexes and fire control systems from the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation. These 12 aircraft are equipped with cameras, ground control and information processing points. Under normal weather conditions, such drones can stay in the sky for up to three hours, and their operational radius reaches 50 km.
Ukrainian iron and steel industry was also able to use its capabilities and capacities to create products for military purposes.
Thus, Metinvest’s Zaporizhzhia enterprises produce modular mobile shelters for dugouts. The company’s specialists rearranged the equipment, purchased special steel, rolls and improved the old drawings. The protective structure, developed in Soviet times, was improved to reduce its size and make it more mobile. Now 10 shelters have already been made and it is planned to release 20 of them per month. Capsules are made of corrugated steel, which can withstand a 150 mm projectile. There is a project and drawings and they are ready to be shared. The cost of the shelter is about UAH 200,000, but Metinvest provides it for free.
From the first days of the war, the Metinvest-SMC company has shipped steel for the production of anti-tank hedgehogs. Later, it established cooperation with partners, provided steel for the production of gas stoves and cats for demining.
Metinvest specialists also began producing steel for bulletproof vests, and later, adapting their technologies, began to produce armor plates as well. At the end of June, the company announced armor plates’ free provision to the military. Since then, Metinvest has received about 100 requests for the production and supply of 27,000 armor plates for the Ukrainian military.
Metinvest Group handed over 500 tons of armored steel to the Lviv Defense Cluster (LDC) – an association of volunteers, entrepreneurs and experts from all over the country. From the steel of Metinvest-SMC and other partners, LDC specialists produced about 80,000 body armors and provided our soldiers and specialists.
At the beginning of the war, the Interpipe company bought sheet steel and sent it to production of plates for 900 body armors at Interpipe NTZ, Nikopol Repair Plant (NRP) and Smoli LLC.
Humanitarian aid to the civilian population has become one of the priorities for companies in the iron and steel sector. They established systematic cooperation with communities, military administrations, public organizations, promptly responding to people’s urgent needs.
The humanitarian project «Saving lives», created by Metinvest and DTEK in coordination with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, has become one of the largest support programs for Ukrainians since the beginning of the war. As part of the project, more than 238,000 citizens from vulnerable categories have already received food and hygiene kits, medical preparations and consumables.
The project works successfully in Zaporizhzhia, and in total, 37 communities in five regions of Ukraine are covered by the project’s support. For the implementation of initiatives and their financing, a charity fund – «Do it together» – was created in Poland. International partners are involved in the humanitarian project – now it is supported by almost 100 donor companies from different countries of the world.
Since the beginning of the war Metinvest Group has allocated UAH 20 million in support of IDPs (internally dasplaced persons) in Kryvyi Rih. It became a partner of the local military administration in the construction of shelters and the purchase of necessary supplies for displaced persons. These funds were used to purchase food, arrangement of shelters, implement training programs and work with psychologists. Currently, 70,000 Ukrainians from the Kherson, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Mykolaiv regions have temporarily moved to Kryvyi Rih, and about 17,000 of the displaced persons are children.
Dnipro Metallurgical Plant (DCH Steel) from the first days of the Russian invasion, has opened a humanitarian aid reception point for the Armed Forces, the National Guard Forces, the territorial defense, hospitals and those who were forced to leave their homes because of the war. The company provided the premises of the former industrial hospital for a center for IDPs, created by the volunteer group «Source of Support». As of the end of August, about 100 migrants, including 20 children, were already accepted here. Autonomous heating will be installed in the shelter and part of the windows will be replaced by winter.
Rudomine company in July bought and handed over 100 beds for one of the Kryvyi Rih schools, where displaced persons found shelter.
ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih provided the IDPs with products from its strategic reserve, which was made in case of a city’s blockade or an attack by Russian troops.
Ferrexpo created humanitarian fund at the beginning of March to help communities and allocated $1.5 million to it. Later, the company increased its funding to $12.5 million, extending support to all of Ukraine. The company also provided its real estate – a hotel, recreation centers and dormitories – for the accommodation of about 2,000 refugees.
Iron and steel companies deliver humanitarian goods – food products, basic necessities – to cities and communities affected by hostilities. Enterprises support volunteer initiatives of their employees aimed at helping displaced people and vulnerable population groups. Thousands of bulletproof vests and modern helmets were provided for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard, the State Emergency Service, the State Security Service, and units of the National Police. Hundreds of cars bought abroad are being sent to the front.
The iron and steel industry of Ukraine creates a reliable and efficient steel front of the country. Its assistance in the conditions of war and the humanitarian disaster is an example of a developed corporate culture, a high level of social responsibility and sustainable development. Such activity hardly has precedents in the world.