Business news from Ukraine

“Metinvest” has built 35 steel bunker headquarters for Armed Forces of Ukraine

30 January , 2024  

Metinvest Mining and Metals Group has built 35 steel bunker headquarters for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) as part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front initiative and plans to produce another 90 bunkers.

Metinvest’s Chief Operating Officer Alexander Mironenko told Pryamyy Kanal that the group has joined the fortification program that is underway in virtually all frontline areas, and is actively building the second and third defense lines with platoon strongholds.

“These points use our shelters as standard, and we have already delivered more than 330 units to our army. And the question arose that we also need to make command posts to ensure continuous control of troops near the contact line. After that, we had a very meaningful discussion with the military, with the command in certain areas. And we have developed a project of the command post – they must meet the following requirements to ensure a comfortable stay of the leadership near the positions and continuous command of the troops,” explained Myronenko.

He clarified that the points must be provided with uninterrupted communication, so they are equipped with Internet, telephone and all other means used by the military. In addition, there should be places where online operators can watch what is happening on the contact line. There are people who monitor video from reconnaissance drones flying along the front line. There are people who monitor how the enemy’s positions and our positions are changing, what kind of fighting is going on at the moment on the contact line. This is all done using large screens and computer equipment, which Metinvest also provides.

The stations are located deep underground for the safety of the military, they are electrified and equipped with stationary heating places, as well as a modern ventilation system that prevents air from stagnating.

The stations are set up mostly at night – they have to be delivered secretly, the place prepared – dig a hole, place them there, make communication lines, fill them up, cover them with several layers of wood. All this requires quite significant security measures, which the company takes together with the military: “They prepare the infrastructure, and we come and install the ‘shelters’ and help with the arrangement.”

“About production: it takes 4-5 weeks to prepare 5-6 shelters, including steel production, assembly of the structure and interior arrangement. The finished structure can be loaded onto a truck, delivered, unloaded and buried. (…) The main purpose of these points is to continuously control troops in a safe environment. If they are properly installed (…), they provide protection against artillery hits of up to 152 caliber,” the top manager explained.

He also emphasized that these control centers are very much needed now, and the company continues to produce them – currently, about five more are in the process of being assembled, which will be distributed to the areas and brigades at the front line. The next stages of production are currently being discussed.

“All the sites where the products are manufactured, including mine trawls, command posts and hideouts, are located outside our facilities. We care about the safety of people working at these sites. In total, about 400-500 employees of Metinvest are constantly involved in the production of defense products. There are opportunities for expansion for almost all types of products, but we are currently limited in the number of people we can employ in this production. (…) We are trying to work closely with the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Defense,” said the COO.

Currently, the main areas of focus are mine clearance (mine trawls) and the provision of shelters and fortifications, as well as their modification. The production of “hideouts” for drone operators is currently being discussed, and another area is being developed, which concerns stabilization medical centers.

“I think in a month or so we will be able to show in more detail what it is and how our medics will be able to use it – the medical stations are currently under development, and we will soon make the first one,” Myronenko summarized.