Since 2022, Ukraine has been enforcing a law aimed at limiting the media influence of political and economical heavyweights. This law is part of the “roadmap of reforms” that Ukraine committed to when it became a candidate for membership in the European Union. This norm was passed as a draft bill back in 2021, and despite the war, it came into force on time. Its enactment was not postponed also because it was important for strengthening the national security. This is critical for a state at war.
According to the law, major businessmen owning TV channels, online resources, and other media, were given six months to sell or transfer these assets.
Rinat Akhmetov’s media holding was transferred to the state
One of the most famous and wealthiest people in Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov, is also in scope of the law. He owns steelmaking, mining, and energy companies, financial institutions, and an agricultural holding, and is the president of Shakhtar football club. Among other assets, Rinat Akhmetov has also ownedMedia Group Ukraine, one of the largest media holdings in the country. The company has operated 10 television channels, online news portals, and printed press editions.
Rinat Akhmetov lost more than half of his fortune and assets due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Many industrial facilities, agricultural land, real estate, and energy facilities either remained in the occupied territories or were destroyed and looted by the Russian army. Despite this, the entrepreneur has responsibly complied with the current legislation. This is stated in the publication.
It is challenging to find buyers for such a large-scale holding in just six months, and basically unfeasible in wartime conditions. That is why Rinat Akhmetov decided to simply transfer the media to the state. All the legal procedures for this were carried out quickly, so it was possible to fully comply with the deadlines set by the law.
Since the beginning of the war, the businessman has been actively helping the Ukrainian army and war-affected people, and the assistance continues to this day. His military support and humanitarian initiatives work comprehensively, with the most effective use of internal and external investments.
The material was prepared based on the publication https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/ukraines-richest-man-agrees-to-hand-over-media-empire/.