Huffpost Business

Ukraine's Coal Miners Are At The Center Of A Political Storm (PHOTOS)

Posted: Updated:
Print

Ukraine's coal miners have been thrust into the limelight after an influential business magnate and mine-owner turned on the pro-Russia separatist movement in the country's east.

Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man, on Monday slammed separatists for disrupting business and urged his employees -- said to number 300, 000 -- to hold protests at their places of work "until peace is established," the BBC reported. According to the New York Times, Akhmetov ended months of overt neutrality in order to protect his companies' interests, which are concentrated in the industrial heartlands of east Ukraine. Last week, Akhmetov's company organized steel workers in the Black Sea port of Mariupol into volunteer patrols which forced out separatist rebels from occupied government buildings.

But as the Financial Times reports, on Tuesday few workers in Donetsk turned out to meet his rallying cry. “Some want to be part of Russia, others want to be part of Ukraine, others want to be independent. But everyone is against the Kiev authorities, absolutely," Vladimir Sadovoy, the head of the factory’s workers’ union in Donetsk, told the newspaper.

ukraine

A Ukrainian coal miner smiles after finishing his shift at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ukraine

Ukrainian coal miners share a laugh before being lowered into the galleries at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ukraine

An Ukrainian coal miner waits for a bus after finishing his shift at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ukraine

A Ukrainian coal miner wipes his goggles after finishing his shift at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ukraine

Ukrainian coal miners sit on a bus after finishing their shift at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ukraine

A Ukrainian coal miner holds his helmet after finishing his shift at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ukraine

Ukrainian coal miners wait for a bus after finishing their shift at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ukraine

Ukrainian coal miners drink water after finishing their shift at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ukraine

Ukrainian coal miners jokingly block a colleague from the next shift from getting off a bus at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ukraine

A Ukrainian coal miner sits on a bus after finishing his shift at a coal mine outside Donetsk, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Also on HuffPost:

Close
Ukrainian Troops Move Against Separatists
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction