Zaporizhstal CEO Oleksandr Myronenko spoke to journalists about the humanitarian mission of Metinvest Group. In particular, he answered questions about support for IDPs coming to Zaporizhia and protection of the company’s employees during the war.
A hospitable Zaporizhia has become a place where thousands of people go to escape the armed aggression of the Russian Federation. Now the city is trying to help them build a comfortable life, regain a sense of confidence, and find a job. Moreover, Zaporizhstal CEO Oleksandr Myronenko who leads the Metinvest’s humanitarian mission in Zaporizhia, spoke about efforts of Metinvest Group to support the IDPs and take care of its employees.
– I would like to discuss with you the support of IDPs from Mariupol. How do the things stand now?
- Our work is already well arranged. We have met more than 120,000 people coming not only from Mariupol, but also from other temporarily occupied territories located on the coast of the Sea of Azov. We have launched special centres in Zaporizhia Oblast for reintegration and accommodation of refugees from the areas of active hostilities. It is open not only to employees of our company, but also to all other citizens. People can turn there to receive first medical and psychological assistance, get advice on where to find a place to sleep and live, and ask other questions. We are trying to provide comprehensive assistance to people leaving active war zones. Yet, this process is very complicated because Russia just doesn’t let people go to Zaporizhia without giving any explanation. It is very difficult to take people out and we are doing everything we can to help them. We engage with volunteers and some official channels that help us take people out. I’d like to say that the UN helped rescue a lot of our employees from Azovstal bomb shelters. They are safe and provided with everything they need. We’re going to continue helping these people so that they have everything they need to get back to normal life in the Ukrainian territory.
- How do you find work for the IDPs? After all, 14,000 employees have been evacuated. How do you get work for everyone?
- Our Centres for Rehabilitation and Reintegration coordinate the process. They have a list of job openings at Metinvest businesses based in Zaporizhia, Kamianske and Kryvyi Rih. These vacancies are available for people fleeing dangerous regions. They learn about the vacancies and choose a job they like. In addition, we cooperate with local authorities and they share with us the information about specialists to fill the job vacancies. We help IDPs find jobs at public utility companies and at other related companies if they offer any vacancies. I mean, we provide comprehensive assistance to make people feel as comfortable as possible in Ukraine so that they can get their lives back on track.
– You place another important focus on training employees to give medical aid and respond to accidents and emergencies. Please tell us more about it.
- Let’s look at a wider picture. The humanitarian assistance is one of our focus areas. The second one is safety of our production employees. We have ad hoc regulations to ensure that all employees understand what to do in case of an emergency. For instance, we have 16 fully equipped bomb shelters at Zaporizhstal where our employees and their families can hide in case of danger. They have everything people need – water, food and at least a seven-day supply of all things, including medicines. All bomb shelters at other enterprises have been repaired and fitted out with everything to keep our employees safe. The number of bomb shelters ranges from 10 to 16 depending on the size of the enterprise.
Our third focus is on supporting the plants located in the areas of active hostilities, for example, Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant. Our specialists work there to keep the equipment running trouble-free. They must come to inspect the equipment and do certain technological operations. Thus, we provide these employees with bulletproof vests and helmets to secure their access to their working sites that can turn into an area of active hostilities at any moment. This plant comes under shelling very often, so our employees get helmets and body armour.
Mobilisation of our employees is our fourth focus area. To date, we have bought more than 2,500 bulletproof vests and helmets. We hand them over to the Armed Forces of Ukraine for our employees so that they can defend our country on the battlefields.
- As to bomb shelters, how many people can they accommodate? Who can use these bomb shelters?
- It depends on the company. I can tell you that Zaporizhstal has 16 bomb shelters that can host 7,500 people. If necessary, it can host even more, another 500-700 people, give or take. The main thing is to provide the basic necessities. If there isn’t any direct threat, these shelters are available to our employees from production units. In case of active warfare in Zaporizhia, these shelters are available to anyone who needs them: employees, their families as well as people from the adjacent city districts.