As part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front initiative, Metinvest Group has launched the production of steel underground command posts, which protect military personnel from the effects of shelling and command teams on the front line. The first unit, which accommodates 30 servicemen, has already been delivered to the ground forces of Ukraine free of charge and installed in one of the fiercest hotspots on the front line.
The command posts help to save lives, as they can be deployed and dismantled quickly and, if installed properly, offer protection against artillery fire of any calibre. They consist of five or six separate mobile bunkers, depending on the configuration, the production of which Metinvest established back in October 2022. These are interconnected underground shelters that perform various functions: from living quarters and sanitary facilities to working areas for command staff. This creates an entire underground complex of buildings.
Made of corrugated steel, the posts are equipped with all the necessary amenities on par with those in a decent hotel. These include sleeping and working areas, showers and boilers, heating systems, lighting and communications, storage for weapons and personal belongings, and electronic equipment. This enables them to be used not only as shelters and recreation areas, but also as workplaces, thereby supporting command teams in their duties on the front line.
Commenting on the shipment of the first command post to the armed forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr MYRONENKO, Chief Operating Officer of Metinvest, said: “Unfortunately, the war has been with us for a long time. Hostilities have become a constant reality for every Ukrainian, particularly for those who defend our country in the armed forces. As such, the development of improved bunkers and entire underground complexes is a contribution from the Group and Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front to improving the living conditions of fighters on the front line. People are our most important asset. If we can create a safe space from shelling and make it as comfortable as possible, we will do so. I hope that there will be more and more such command posts on the front line, and these “underground towns” will become a reliable pillar for military command teams. Metinvest is also planning to develop new configurations of underground steel complexes for other needs of the country’s armed forces. We will not stop until Ukraine wins.”
The new command posts are based on the traditional model of a “hideout” bunker. Since 2022, Metinvest has already supplied over 330 of the latter to various brigades of the Ukrainian armed forces. For the new unit, the standard design was further developed to serve as part of a permanent staff unit: dimensions were increased to a length of 6 metres and height of 2.3 metres. Each “hideout” can accommodate six people and is equipped with recreation space, storage for personal belongings and an integrated heating system. It takes around 400 hours for the Group’s specialists to produce one such construction.
Volodymyr HORBATIUK, Brigadier General of Ukraine’s armed forces, said: “The advantage of our army over the enemy is that we fight qualitatively, with our brains. And at the same time, we can make informed decisions promptly, because the lives of our soldiers and the success of combat operations are at stake. That is why we strive to ensure the safety and comfort of our military, during work and recreation, even at “Line Zero”, amid the hell of war. Based on modular shelters, the command posts meet the army’s needs and enable us to arrange fortified staff quarters on the front line. In any situation, they will help to fulfil the main objective: to command the battle and inflict devastating defeats on the enemy.”
Overall, since the start of the full-scale war, Metinvest has allocated UAH4.8 billion to support Ukraine and Ukrainians, including more than UAH2.5 billion on aid for fighters as part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front defence initiative. During this time, the Group has supplied over 150,000 bulletproof vests, 25,000 helmets, 80,000 anti-tank hedgehogs, 31,500 tourniquets, 1,500 drones, 2,000 thermal imagers, 500 vehicles, tens of mine trawls for tanks, patrol boats and “lancet catchers”.
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