It’s not only journalists who tread lightly around Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov. Most find it easier to step around him rather than confront or question him or his motives.
One reason is that Akhmetov is known as a libel lawsuit-happy oligarch. First he deploys public relations specialists, including the Kyiv-based Jock Mendoza-Wilson, to attend events and, when needed, call up news organizations that publish what Akhmetov or his lawyers consider to be potentially libelous information.
The Kyiv Post tried to track down reports that Akhmetov’s lawyers demanded that the U.S.-based Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Institute remove information about the billionaire on its website. Whether it happened or not, the initiative’s Akhmetov archive cannot be found online. The institute acknowledged the information is no longer on its website, but would not say why.