The head of Ukraine’s state railway company, who became somewhat of a Twitter sensation for his endless quest to keep the country’s trains running during wartime, has resigned.
Aleksandr Kamyshin will step down as CEO of Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia) and instead become head of the company’s European integration office.
“I leave the position with a calm heart,” he wrote in his Telegram channel.
“The company is working clearly and smoothly... I am grateful to President Zelensky and Deputy Prime Minister Kubrakov for appreciating my work in the position,” he continued.
Like many people in Ukraine, Kamyshin found his job was utterly transformed by Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country and the already complex task of trying to keep Ukraine’s trains running on time became a matter of life-and-death significance for millions.
Ukrainian Railways evacuated around 4 million people away from the combat zones, as well as transporting many of those escaping abroad.
Scenes of women and children desperately trying to board packed trains in cities across Ukraine became emblematic of the misery caused by Russia in the early days of the war.
Yet despite the conflict, Ukraine’s trains did keep on running, and Kamyshin’s tweets often went viral – due to his dry humor, obsession with OTP (On Time Performance) and self-deprecating outpourings of disappointment over delays that had been caused by the most extraordinary of circumstances.
Here are just some of his highlights:
- Reporting the Kyiv-Kherson rail line reestablished just three days after liberation
Spoiler. More details later tonight. Railways #KeepRunning. And yes, #KhersonIsUkraine. pic.twitter.com/yeUJHph7c6— Alexander Kamyshin (@AKamyshin) November 12, 2022
- The inside story of Rail Force One and the secret mission to get Joe Biden to Kyiv last month
So, here is the story of @POTUS's visit to #Kyiv and how #RailForceOne was born.— Alexander Kamyshin (@AKamyshin) February 21, 2023
Grab some 🍿, @Amtrak.
Danger: long 🧵 ahead. pic.twitter.com/EFCE3PN7hx
- Apologizing for the disruption caused by the most important world leader's visit to Kyiv
I also want to apologize for breaking our OTP (On Time Performance) yesterday. We had to delay some of our trains to give a way to #RailForceOne. It was painful for me and my team, but I had to do that. So only 90% of our trains arrived on time yesterday. I apologize. pic.twitter.com/cU66V7GQ82— Alexander Kamyshin (@AKamyshin) February 21, 2023
- Still smashing targets despite being at war
Don't want to be the most boring guy at the party, but yes, we had another best on-schedule day yesterday:— Alexander Kamyshin (@AKamyshin) January 16, 2023
- 97% trains departed on time
- 96% trains arrived on time
Yes, we are obsessed with running on schedule. pic.twitter.com/HBwl6FMEtF
- Rolling out steam engines to protect against Russia’s missile campaign to destroy Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure
When #russians shell our energy infrastructure, we switch to diesel locos and #KeepRunning. We always have “plan b”. Was checking today “plan b” for diesel locos - steam locos.🧵 pic.twitter.com/JxRvIx769Q— Alexander Kamyshin (@AKamyshin) November 6, 2022
- Servicing pets
More than 120 000 pets evacuated since the beginning of this #RussianUkrainianWar . We couldn’t make apart the loving ones. pic.twitter.com/NB2e8vNUZg— Alexander Kamyshin (@AKamyshin) May 28, 2022
- Unveiling a pedal-powered Christmas tree in Kyiv’s main train station that could be lit during blackouts
War? Blackout? No Christmas tree?— Alexander Kamyshin (@AKamyshin) December 17, 2022
You never guess what we invented :))) pic.twitter.com/uKQKPIWeW3
Kamyshin proved himself to be an effective anti-crisis manager. Under his leadership, a corrupted and unreformed state-owned company became an effective evacuation vehicle that saved millions of lives in wartime.
He turned a loss-making state company profitable, by making a decision unpopular among private business: to raise freight tariffs.
Kamyshin became head of Ukrainian Railways in August 2021, when he was appointed acting CEO. In April 2022, Kamyshin was formally installed as CEO for a four-year term. Prior to that, he had been a managing partner of the investment company Fortior Capital.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter
Comments ( 1)
Excellent article on how Ukraine leadership is marching on despite Russian aggression and atrocities.