(Bloomberg) — In normal times, Metinvest Holding LLC is all about making and selling steel. But these are not normal times inside Ukraine.
On Saturday, Chief Executive Officer Yuriy Ryzhenkov was focused on yet another attempt to get humanitarian aid into the eastern port city of Mariupol, which has been besieged for weeks by Russian shelling. A convoy of aid trucks and empty buses had just left his company’s steel plant in Zaporizhzhia on the 460 km (285 mile) round trip.
Ryzhenkov said he was optimistic this time would be different, that the convoy would be let through and not shot at. Priests from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — which answers to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow — had become involved, he said, and “they will basically march in front of this convoy.”
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked the priests in an address and his office posted a video of them blessing the aid effort as the convoy prepared to leave Zaporizhzhia. A similar group of Metinvest buses and municipal buses was waiting inside Mariupol to evacuate civilians, according to Ryzhenkov.
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