The restoration of the Mariupol Ilyich Iron and Steel Works (MMK Ilyich), partially destroyed during the battles for the city, can be done by the company of the same name, registered in the "DPR", writes the BBC. As the publication found out, one of the co-owners of the MMK Ilyich company is the Chechen businessman Valid Korchagin, who is associated with the family of Senator Suleiman Geremeev, who is close to Ramzan Kadyrov.
Valid Vakhitovich Korchagin is 25 years old. The BBC has found evidence that this is the son of Vakhit Geremeev, who has changed his surname, and who holds the post of deputy head of the Ministry of Construction of Chechnya. Vakhit Geremeev, in turn, is considered the brother of Suleiman Geremeev. In addition, the Geremeevs are related to deputy Adam Delimkhanov, Kadyrov's closest associate.
The general director of Transparency International Russia, Ilya Shumanov, in an interview with the BBC, suggested that the Geremeevs received the metallurgical plant as a reward for participating in the war in Ukraine. “They fought, demonstrated their loyalty and may well claim an asset that is located on this territory,” says the human rights activist. Korchagin could have been chosen to be the official owner of MMK Ilyich, since the rest of the family members hold government positions. “All are either civil servants or law enforcement officers, there is no “free” male population. We found someone along this line who could be a family asset holder, and transferred them to him, ”says Shumanov.
The information that MMK Ilyich's company is connected with the plant in Mariupol was confirmed to journalists by its official head, a resident of Makeevka (Donetsk region) Yuri Murai. He refused to disclose details. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian authorities claim that the plant in Mariupol is not being restored, but simply dismantled for scrap. “In fact, on the cleared and demined territory, they began to cut the plant for scrap. This is the “recovery” from the Russians. There was metal rolling - it became scrap metal, ” wrote an assistant to the mayor of Mariupol, Pyotr Andryushchenko, back in August.
It is not yet clear whether the restoration of the plant will be financed from the Russian budget or other sources. Shumanov believes that the metallurgical plant is needed to restore construction sites and social infrastructure, and that budget money will go through it, which will be developed by Ilyich's MMK company.
Ilyich Iron and Steel Works is considered one of the largest enterprises in Ukraine and is owned by Rinat Akhmetov's Metinvest. Before the war, 35,000 people worked at the holding's enterprises in Mariupol. Mariupol was captured by Russian forces in May, after which it was placed under the control of Chechen forces.
It is noteworthy that last year the same Korchagin became a co-owner of the Arena company, which took over the coffee shops of the American company Starbucks, which left the Russian market, and also a co-owner of the OBI construction hypermarket chain.