Rinat Akhmetov has barely been seen in public since fleeing his hometown Donbas region, which he once ruled almost as a personal fiefdom.
“On May 20, 2014 Rinat Leonidovich left for three days from Donetsk to Kyiv, and since then, unfortunately, has never returned to the Donbas. All this time, Mr. Akhmetov has lived and worked in Kyiv,” a spokesperson said in written responses to Kyiv Post inquiries.
In Donetsk, Akhmetov often resided at a vast estate protected by high cement walls. Reporters visiting the occupied region in 2014-2015 witnessed that the road towards it’s entrance was guarded by militants identifying themselves as members of the Vostok Battalion, headed at the time by Alexander Khodakovsky.