October 11, 2022

Already 150,000: Every Tenth Body Armour Vest in Ukraine’s Armed Forces Is From Metinvest

Since the start of Russia’s invasion, Rinat Akhmetov and Vadym Novinsky’s Metinvest Group has made every effort to provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Defence Ministry of Ukraine and other military institutions with tactical equipment, vehicles and protective gear. By early October, the Group had supplied 150,000 body armour vests to Ukrainian troops. As such, every tenth body armour vest in the Armed Forces of Ukraine is made from Metinvest steel or has been purchased by the Group.

Among other efforts, protective gear is provided to the Armed Forces of Ukraine as part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front military initiative.

“Since February 24, we all have one goal: to do everything to ensure that Ukraine holds firm and wins the war,” said Rinat Akhmetov, shareholder of Metinvest Group. “Every body armour vest made at our plants protects Ukrainian soldiers and brings victory closer. This is our Steel Front. I thank all employees of Metinvest, who channel their efforts into our common victory every day. We have made 150,000 body armour vests, and they have already saved the lives of thousands of our military personnel, rescue workers, medics and utility workers. And we do not plan to stop and will do everything to bring the victory of Ukraine closer. We will definitely win.” 

Why this is important

At the beginning of the enemy invasion, the Armed Forces of Ukraine urgently needed high-quality body armour in large quantities. Hence why Metinvest, an experienced producer of armoured steel, has become one of the largest suppliers of special steel and protective gear. To set up domestic production of body armour, the Group had to find an alternative to Azovstal’s armoured steel and bring in rolled steel from abroad. Metinvest-SMC, a sales unit, promptly arranged supplies of steel from Europe and Turkey and transferred it to armour producers. In spring, the total volume of imported steel under the contracts was more than 600 tonnes.

In parallel, Group specialists began making armoured steel on existing production lines. As of today, Metinvest’s enterprises can produce around 20 tonnes of special steel weekly. In addition, the Group has procured ready-made body armour.

“Since the first day of the war, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been standing up to the invading army with dignity, showing courage and might of steel,” said Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest Group. “Today, they are heroically advancing the front line, retaking kilometre after kilometre from the invaders. As such, we must provide reliable support for our soldiers to ensure their protection and tactical advantage. As part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front military initiative, Metinvest has made significant efforts to establish the production of armoured steel. More than 150,000 body armour vests will protect the lives of those on whom the future of the entire country depends.”

How to receive armoured steel from Metinvest

Through the joint efforts of the state, major businesses and volunteer associations, the acute shortage of protective gear kits has been overcome. The greatest burden on manufacturers and suppliers of body armour vests was from March to May. Collaborations such as the partnership between Metinvest-SMC and the Lviv Defence Cluster (LDC) helped to steer out of a difficult situation successfully. In total, the LDC received more than 500 tonnes of steel plates from Metinvest-SMC free of charge for the production of body armour vests.

Subsequently, the Group began producing body armour vests. They are delivered free of charge to soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine, the Territorial Defence and numerous units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who are defending the country’s independence on the front line, as well as municipal workers, emergency teams and specialists of the State Emergency Service, who are dealing with the consequences of enemy shelling in front-line cities.

The Group is open to new collaboration. Metinvest’s special steel is also suitable for protecting equipment: front-line vehicles, ambulances, evacuation vehicles and so on. At present, Metinvest-SMC warehouses have sufficient special-purpose plates to provide them on request to enhance the bullet resistance of vehicles operating in hot spots or to produce body armour vests.

Requests for armoured plates can be sent to Please indicate the contact details of the people responsible and submit an official enquiry.

Since the early days of the war, the amount of assistance from Metinvest to Ukraine and Ukrainians has exceeded UAH2 billion, of which UAH1.3 billion has gone on supporting the army and helping the military.

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