In April this year, numerous UK newspapers revealed that Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, had paid the highest price ever for a UK residence.

He paid a record £136.4m for an apartment in the One Hyde Park development in Knightsbridge.

Last week, on the 29th July a methane blast at a coal mine owned by Akhmetov claimed the lives of 28 workers.

In just five days two other mining accidents in Ukraine have raised the death toll to 40.

Here’s a statement by one of the employees at Akhmetov’s mine.

The coking coal costs huge money and people are expendable. They will blame the mountain master who died and all will be okay. Please show this. I know I probably have no chance for working here after this, I am now jobless, but I want you to show this.

Yesterday I helped bringing up the dead guys to the surface. I cried half a night after this. I overheard the conversation [that] there was five percent of methane, instead of a half-percent. If there is a leak, nobody leaves. They just add some fresh air and keep working. Otherwise, you would lose your job.

In wintertime, the shower has no heating. There are no robes, nothing.

We get [used] like animals. It’s minus 30 outside. You have to wash yourself in cold water, you come out – there is no heating. Your robe gets covered with mold.

You work so hard, you sweat really bad. If you sit down, you are out in the dump for Hr 800 ($80) a month. If you unzip you robe, you also go to the dump, or you have to pay Hr 2,000-Hr 3,000 ($200-$300) [as a bribe] to get better treatment.

They pay kopecks and take back everything they give. I want to tell them, take my robe, take my life, my shoes. What else do you want from me?

The full text is here:

…and here’s a statement by SCM, Rinat Akhmetov’s holding company

That’s why investing into the most modern infrastructure and technology to ensure safe labor is the main task for the holdings’ managers. SCM constantly invests into coal mines’ modernization and labor safety. And will keep investing, to make coal miners’ work safe to the maximum! 

The complete statement is here:

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