“I am calling upon all employees across Donbas to go out tomorrow for a peaceful warning protest at the companies where they work. The rally will start tomorrow at noon with a siren ringing at all industrial businesses of Donbas in support of peace and against bloodshed. And that sound will ring every day at noon across all of Donbass until peace is established. I also call on all motor car owners and all patriots of our region to join the action!” Akmetov, whose System Capital Management remains Ukraine’s largest conglomerate, said in a statement broadcasted by the television late at night on May 19.
As for Donetsk, around 1,000 came to Akhmetov’s stadium Donbas Arena at 12 p.m. on May 20 waving orange flags of Shakhtar soccer club, also owned by the oligarch. They left in 15 minutes. At about midday the sirens rang at Akhmetov’s enterprises, but not many workers went for strike as it was designated only for those working at auxiliary departments of the plants. “Do you see any workers on strike? All are at work now,” said a woman working at checkpoint Akhmetov’s of Donetsk Metallurgical Plant.