Will Europe Force a Facebook Blackout?

Facebook faces trouble in Europe—and Meta wants you to know about it. Every three months since June 2018, the company has used its financial results to warn that it could be forced to stop running Facebook and Instagram across the continent—potentially pulling its apps from millions of people and thousands of businesses—if it can’t send data between the EU and the US.

Whether Meta’s bluffing will become clear soon enough.

Data regulators are on the verge of making a historic ruling in a years-long case, and they are expected to say Facebook’s data transfers across the Atlantic should be blocked. For years, Meta has fought against European privacy activists over how data is sent to the US, with courts ruling multiple times that European data isn’t properly protected and can potentially be snooped on by the NSA and other US intelligence agencies.

While the case focuses on Meta, it has widespread ramifications, potentially impacting thousands of businesses across Europe that rely upon the services of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and more. At the same time, US and European negotiators are scrambling to finalize a long-awaited new data-sharing deal that will limit what information US intelligence agencies can get their hands on. If negotiators can’t get it right, people’s privacy will remain at risk and billions of dollars of trade will be put in jeopardy.

At the start of July, the Irish Data Protection Commission, Facebook’s main data regulator in Europe, issued a draft decision that would block Meta from sending data across the Atlantic. While the specifics of that draft decision aren’t known, if it is enacted, it could create a Facebook blackout across Europe.

Under the GDPR, Europe’s data law, countries across the continent get 30 days to scrutinize Ireland’s Meta decision and respond with any potential changes or complaints. That time is now up. A spokesperson for the Irish regulator says “some” objections have been received from a “small” number of other countries and it is working to address these. Experts say these are likely to be minor points of law, rather than overturning the entire decision.

So, how likely is it that Meta will actually pull its services from Europe? In reality, the chances are probably pretty slim. Meta has said it has “no desire” to leave the continent, going as far as publishing a blog post titled “Meta Is Absolutely Not Threatening to Leave Europe.” Europe’s 30-plus countries are a large market for Meta, and stopping services, even temporarily, could be costly. (A close comparison is when the company briefly banned news posts in Australia in early 2021, following a row with publishers.) While Meta may not leave Europe, it may have to make changes to how it stores and transfers data once the final decision from the Irish regulator is published, although there is no set timeline. It may also face a fine.

“My guess is that Meta is going to have to look at some form of geo-siloing if they want to continue to operate in the EU,” says Calli Schroeder, global privacy counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit digital rights research organization. Schroeder, who previously worked with companies on international data transfers, says this approach could mean Meta would have to create its own servers and data centers in the EU that aren’t connected to its broader databases.

Harshvardhan Pandit, a computer science research fellow at Trinity College Dublin who is researching the GDPR, says that as data authorities are still considering Meta’s case and a final decision hasn’t been published yet, they could include several caveats or steps that Meta should take to fall in line. For instance, one recent data protection decision in Europe gave a six-month period for a company to make changes to its business.

“I think the most pragmatic solution would be for them to create the European infrastructure, like Google or Amazon, which have quite a few data centers here,” Pandit says, adding that Meta could also introduce more encryption to how it stores data and maximize how much it keeps in the EU. All these measures would be costly, though. Jack Gilbert, director and associate general counsel at Meta, says that the issue “is in the process of being resolved.” Facebook did not respond specifically to questions about its plan to respond to the Irish decision.

European officials have twice ruled that systems put in place to share data between the EU and US don’t properly protect people’s data—the complaints have been ongoing since the early 2010s. European courts ruled that international data-sharing agreements weren’t up to scratch first in 2015 and then again in July 2020, when the Privacy Shield agreement was ruled illegal.

“All that the EU is asking for when organizations transfer data to other countries is to protect that data in line with the GDPR,” says Nader Henein, a research vice president specializing in privacy and data protection at Gartner. “The issue is that laws in the US that protect the data of ‘nonresident aliens’ are woefully insufficient and make it very difficult for organizations like Facebook to comply with local law and the GDPR.”

While Meta is the focus of the most high-profile complaint, it isn’t the only company impacted by a lack of clarity on how companies in Europe can send data to the US. “The data transfer issue is not Meta-specific,” David Wehner, Meta’s chief strategy officer, said in a July earnings call. “It relates to how in general data is transferred for all US and EU companies back and forth to the US.”

googThe impacts of the July 2020 decision to get rid of Privacy Shield are now being felt. Since January of this year, multiple European data regulators have ruled that using Google Analytics, the company’s traffic-monitoring service for websites, falls foul of the GDPR. Danish authorities went even further: Schools can’t use Chromebooks without restrictions being put in place. “There is a ton of legal uncertainty, and there is a significant compliance risk,” says Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna, vice president of global privacy at Future of Privacy Forum, a nonprofit think tank.

Politicians are well aware of the problems. In March, US president Joe Biden and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced a new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework, which will change the way data is sent between the EU and US. The deal, which will be introduced by executive order, will limit what data US intelligence agencies can access and will create a new system where Europeans can complain if they think they’ve been illegally spied upon by US agencies.

However, since the deal was announced, no specifics—including any legal texts—have been published. In June, officials said the deal could be published in the coming weeks, but so far, there has been little public progress. The US Department of Commerce says discussions are still taking place, including a meeting between both sides last week. (A European Commission spokesperson says work on the new agreement is ongoing, but they do not have a timeline that can be shared.) The longer the negotiations take, the more blocking orders will drop. “Obviously, if that framework is not complete, we would be in jeopardy of being able to transfer data,” Facebook’s Wehner said earlier this year.

The deal is likely to take a while yet. “Realistically, at this point, we’re looking at a potential adequacy decision for this Trans-Atlantic data transfers framework sometime next year—maybe the first quarter of next year,” Zanfir-Fortuna says. Once the details have been published, EU officials will spend months scrutinizing the specifics to see if they fall in line with court orders.

And they won’t be the only ones pouring over it. Privacy activists and lawyers will also be looking at the agreement and could launch further legal challenges if they find that data moving from Europe to the US still isn’t protected strongly enough. “The continued challenges are not unwarranted, particularly considering the Snowden revelations and the prevalence of Big Tech firms coming out of the US,” Schroeder says. “As a whole, America really needs to make sure we rise to the challenge of showing that we can be good stewards of the industry that we’re trying to be leaders in.”

By:

Source: Will Europe Force a Facebook Blackout? | WIRED UK

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How Finland is Eradicating Its Homelessness Problem

There are more than a million empty homes in Canada and on any given night at least 35,000 Canadians are homeless. They pack into overflowing, often dangerous, shelters or they hunker down outside, hoping the elements will be kinder to them than the conditions indoor.

In the 1980s, a Canadian psychologist working in New York had an idea: maybe the best way to solve the problem of homelessness was to give people homes. Sam Tsemberis was one of the earliest proponents of a model known as Housing First. The idea was viewed as outlandish and unworkable.

Skeptics argued that complex issues like addiction and mental health had to be addressed first before someone was a suitable candidate for long-term housing. How would the cost be justified to hardworking taxpayers?

But the idea has caught on. Housing First projects have appeared in municipalities across Asia, Europe and North America, including Medicine Hat, Alta. Now, Finland has become the first country to adopt a national housing first approach to homelessness.

Juha Kaakinen, CEO of Finland’s largest housing nonprofit, the Y-Foundation, has been working in the area of homelessness and social welfare since the 1980s. He was one of the architects of Housing First — Finland’s national plan. He spoke to The Sunday Edition‘s Michael Enright about how Finland eradicated homelessness. Here are some highlights from their conversation interview.

A home without preconditions

You can call it a principle, a service model or a philosophy; the main thing is treating homeless people like everybody else — people who have the same rights and see housing as a human right. So the housing first principle means that you give a homeless person a home, a flat, or a  rental flat with a contract, without preconditions. You are not required to solve your problems or get sober, for example, to get a permanent home. And then, when you have this home, you can get support to solve your issues. This is a simple basic principle of housing first.

Finland succeeds where the rest of Europe did not

A lot of progress has been made. We now have the lowest number of homeless. Our present government has decided that the rest of the homeless should be halved within the next four years and completely end by 2027.

We have had a constant policy of providing affordable, social housing. The state finances this. And in each new housing area, especially in the big cities, at least 25 per cent of housing must be affordable, social housing. This has kept the supply to a reasonable level. This has been probably the main reason why we don’t have the kind of housing crisis that most European countries have at the moment.

How Housing First works

For example, in Helsinki, there is a service centre for homeless people. You can always go in, no matter your condition. It’s probably the most similar to the shelters in other countries. But it’s the only one, with 52 beds. You discuss your situation with a social worker and they try to arrange housing for you. They make an assessment, find out what your needs are.

Affordable social housing stock is another option. For over 30 years, the Y-Foundation has been buying flats from the private market. We use these flats specifically as rental flats for homeless people.

Maybe the most important structural change in Finland is that we’ve renovated our temporary accommodations in shelters and hostels into supported housing. For example, the last big shelter in Helsinki, run by the Salvation Army, had 250 beds. It was completely renovated in 2012. Now they have 81 independent, modern, apartments in that same building. They also have on-site staff for support. So this structural change has probably been the crucial thing that has led to this trend of decreasing homelessness.

The common thing for all homeless people is that they don’t have a home. Everybody has their own story, their own history. They have their own resources. They may also have their own problems. For that reason, you have to make a very tailor-made plan for people, to provide adequate support.

For example, if you have drug abuse problems, simply providing housing doesn’t solve that kind of issue. You may need rehabilitation, detoxification, etc. These other elements are important. But to get these things done successfully, you must provide permanent housing. That way you can be sure that you are not kicked out the next morning and you can plan your life ahead.

Why the taxpayer argument doesn’t hold up

Keeping people homeless, instead of providing homes for them, is always more expensive for the society. In Finland we have some scientific evaluations of the cost of this program. When a homeless person gets a permanent home, even with support, the cost savings for the society are at least 15,000 Euros per one person per one year. And the cost savings come from different use of different services.

In this study, they looked at the services that homeless people used when they were without a home. They calculated every possible thing: emergency healthcare, police, justice system, etc. They then compared that cost to when people get proper housing. And this was the result. I’m quite sure this kind of cost analysis can also be found for Canada.

Political understanding is crucial

What has been crucial in Finland is that there has been a political understanding and political consensus: this is a national problem that we should solve together. Since 2008, we have had several governments with several different political coalitions. All these governments have decided to continue to work to end homelessness. This kind of political will — that’s the starting point. It doesn’t solve everything but it helps.

I think that it demands politicians who have an understanding of human dignity. It doesn’t require more. In Finland we have a very wide partnership. It has been a collaboration between the state, big cities and big NGOs working together towards the same goal.

Changing public attitude

There are several ways you can affect public attitudes. Facts and research are good starting points. But it’s always important to tell people stories of those whose lives have changed since they got housing. These things have an emotional impact on the general public. If there are willing former homeless people, who would like to tell their stories, this kind of human interest element is very powerful. But, of course there are very clear facts behind how it should be done and why we should speak about housing as human rights issue.

By: Tahiat Mahboob

What To Know About How Monkeypox Spreads—And Whether You Should Wear A Mask

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sparked confusion over monkeypox this week after deleting a recommendation for travelers to wear face masks to protect against the disease, a u-turn that shed light on the different ways the virus spreads amid escalating outbreaks across Europe and North America—here’s what to know about how the disease is transmitted.

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and is transmitted through prolonged close contact with an infected animal or person or objects contaminated by someone with an infection like towels, clothes or bedding.The virus mainly spreads via direct contact with infectious monkeypox sores, scabs or bodily fluids, though it can also be transmitted via respiratory droplets, the kind of large particles produced when people breathe, talk, cough or sneeze.

These respiratory droplets do not travel very far and drop to the ground quickly, Dr. Jake Dunning, an infectious disease researcher at the University of Oxford, told Forbes. It’s not clear whether or not monkeypox can also spread via aerosol—tiny liquid particles that can linger in the air—a mode of transmission often used to designate a disease “airborne.”

Dunning called the term “unhelpful” as many people use it to describe different things, though said it is possible that short-range aerosols could be involved in transmitting monkeypox. More research will be needed to know for sure, he said, adding that he would be “surprised” if research showed long-range aerosol transmission, given current evidence suggesting long-range transmission is unlikely.

If monkeypox can be transmitted sexually. A significant portion of the monkeypox cases identified in Europe and the U.K. have been among men who identify as gay or bisexual or have sex with other men with no history of travel to parts of Africa where monkeypox is endemic. While the virus is not known to be sexually transmitted—though a degree of close physical contact can be assumed—the pattern had scientists wondering if other modes of transmission were involved and experts have cautioned against stigmatizing members of the community.

Experts stress the risk from monkeypox is not limited to men who have sex with men and note the pattern could be explained by other factors. These could include health officials searching for, and thus finding, more cases within this group, members of the community being more proactive about their sexual health and more likely to visit clinics or the disease spreading thorugh sexual and social networks.

Researchers in Europe recently detected monkeypox virus in the semen of several patients, however, suggesting direct sexual transmission may be possible. Further research will be needed to determine whether this is the case, Dunning said. It’s not clear how the virus came to be in the seminal fluid or whether it was “added” at some point after ejaculation, he explained.

On Monday, the CDC raised its alert on monkeypox to Level 2—the level below advising against non-essential travel—updating its guidance and encouraging travelers to “practice enhanced precautions.” The guidance, which stressed the risk to the general public is “low,” advised those traveling to areas where there’s a monkeypox outbreak to avoid contact with sick people, contaminated materials and wild animals.

It also suggested travelers wear masks to help protect against monkeypox, though the agency quietly removed this recommendation, stating it had “caused confusion.” The agency does still recommend face masks, alongside other protective gear, for those who may be in close contact with a confirmed monkeypox patient and health workers caring for monkeypox patients. Dr. Hugh Adler from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Oxford’s Dunning both told Forbes masks are worn in clinical settings as part of a standard set of protective equipment for dealing with diseases like monkeypox.

On their own, masks may not be that useful in protecting against monkeypox given the multiple ways the disease can spread, they added. Given the very low risk of the general public coming into contact with someone with monkeypox, Adler said wearing masks doesn’t make a lot of sense. Dunning said the debate over masks is similar to discussions going on around the world with several other emerging infections and is “heavily influenced” by the Covid-19 pandemic.

45. That’s how many cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the U.S. as of Thursday, according to the CDC. More than 1,300 cases have been confirmed in nearly 30 countries outside of Africa, according to public health data compiled by Global.Health, a team of researchers and technologists tracking the outbreak. The majority of these are in Europe—the U.K. has identified 321 cases, Spain 198, Portugal 191 and Germany 113—with a notable cluster of 110 cases in Canada. More cases are suspected but not confirmed.

Orthopoxviruses like monkeypox are “hardy and stable” and can survive for weeks or months in shed skin flakes and dust if the conditions are right, Oxford’s Dunning told Forbes. This means items like contaminated bedding or towels used by monkeypox patients could theoretically pose an infection risk for a long time. “Clouds” of skin flakes or dust that might form when changing the bed of an infected person could, for example, pose a risk of infection, Dunning added, though more research will be needed to examine the possibility.

Monkeypox gaining a foothold. Monkeypox is not a new virus and is a well-known entity that has been circulating in parts of Central and Western Africa for decades. It’s typically mild and goes away on its own in a month or so—though it can be lethal and is more dangerous for children and pregnant people—and there are several useful vaccines and treatments available designed to tackle smallpox, a similar virus that has been eradicated.

Experts, including WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, say the sudden and unexpected appearance of monkeypox in multiple countries at once suggests the virus may have been circulating undetected in non-endemic countries for some time, though it’s unclear for how long. While Tedros said it’s not too late to contain the outbreaks at the moment, he warned there is a “real” risk of the virus “becoming established in non-endemic countries.”

It’s possible the virus could spread to wild animal populations and gain a foothold outside of Africa that way, several researchers studying how viruses spread from animals to humans told Forbes. Rodents—which are suspected of harboring the virus in Africa—and squirrels are the most likely animal reservoirs in the U.S., University of Minnesota virologist Matthew Aliota said, and Georgetown University’s Ellen Carlin said the animals should be an “important planning consideration” for officials tackling the outbreak.

I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and as a freelance

Source: What To Know About How Monkeypox Spreads—And Whether You Should Wear A Mask

Related News:

Monkeypox Can Be Airborne, Too

Here Are The Companies That Could Profit As Governments Scramble To Secure Monkeypox Treatments And Vaccines

Monkeypox: Here’s What You Need To Know About The Rare Virus Found In The U.S., U.K. And Europe

Monkeypox is a new global threat. African scientists know what the world is up against

Monkeypox vaccination begins — can the global outbreaks be contained?

“Signs and Symptoms Monkeypox”.

Transmission Monkeypox”

“2003 U.S. Outbreak Monkeypox”

Human monkeypox”

“Treatment | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC”.

Smallpox Vaccine Supply & Strength”. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

“FDA approves first live, non-replicating vaccine to prevent smallpox and monkeypox”.

Treatment | Monkeypox | Poxvirus

Multi-country monkeypox outbreak in non-endemic countries”. World Health Organization.

Monkeypox cases reported in these countries so far. Check full list here”.

“Monkeypox cases investigated in Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia”

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A New Covid Wave Is Spreading In Europe — Here’s Why The U.S. Should Pay Attention

The number of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are approaching or surpassing record highs across Europe just weeks after countries lifted pandemic restrictions and outlined plans to live with the virus, which could be a warning sign for the U.S., where numbers have been falling for weeks, but which tends to follow trends in Europe.

Covid infections are on the rise across Europe including in France, the U.K., Ireland, Switzerland, Finland and Italy, and are respectively nearing or surpassing record highs in Germany and Austria, according to official data collated by Our World in Data.

Many of these countries—including the U.K., France, the Netherlands and Belgium—are also reporting increases in the number of Covid-19 hospital admissions, according to Our World in Data, and the number of Covid deaths in the region have also started to modestly increase including in the U.K., Sweden, Slovakia, Ireland and Iceland.

The Covid burden for many European countries was already high before the recent surge, though several are now fighting outbreaks that rank among the world’s very worst: excluding territories with a population smaller than 1 million, European nations account for 16 of the highest 20 death rates (including four in the top five) and 19 of the top 25 highest case rates.

While there is no unifying feature behind the surge, experts told Forbes the uptick is likely driven by a mixture of relaxed pandemic restrictions, waning immunity and the more infectious BA.2 variant of omicron.

Though the number of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the U.S. have fallen significantly in recent weeks, Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert at the University of California at Berkeley, told Forbes the situation in Europe could presage another coronavirus wave in the U.S.

What happens in Europe, and especially in the U.K., tends to happen in the U.S. with a “few weeks lag,” Swartzberg explained, adding that “there’s every reason to think this pattern will hold for the immediate future.”

Even as cases soared, a growing number of European countries—including the U.K., Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland—have scrapped almost all Covid restrictions under plans to live with the virus. Officials across the region have repeatedly cited the availability of vaccines and treatments, and lower rates of serious illness with omicron, when justifying the decision.

Austria even dropped its controversial law requiring compulsory vaccination for all adults, with its minister in charge of constitutional affairs saying the mandate was no longer “proportionate” with the disease. The figures across Europe are likely just the “tip of the iceberg,” warned World Health Organization chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Ordinarily, disease surveillance usually misses a large number of Covid cases and there are differences in how each nation records its Covid deaths and hospital admissions. This is made worse by the fact that many countries are also taking steps to dismantle the testing infrastructure used to keep tabs on the pandemic at the same time as lifting restrictions, a move experts warn hampers the ability to detect new variants.

There are early signs Covid-19 rates may already be rising across the U.S., according to the CDC’s monitoring of wastewater sewage. As the genetic material of the virus that causes Covid-19 can be detected in sewage, wastewater surveillance has been used as an early warning system to help predict new outbreaks. Coronavirus rates have risen at 38% of the hundreds of wastewater sampling sites tracked by the CDC over the last two weeks.

When it comes to Covid, the United States specializes in denialism,” wrote Dr. Eric Topol, the founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, in the Guardian. It has denied human-to-human transmission of the virus when the first cases were publicized in China, denied the virus is airborne and denied the need for boosters, Topol said.

But one denial in particular now one stands out, Topol said: learning from other countries. “The United Kingdom and Europe have provided five unmistakable warnings to America that a new surge was occurring. Within weeks, each time, the United States experienced a new wave, some not as severe (such as with the Alpha variant), some worse (Delta and Omicron variants).

From this Covid track record over two years, it is palpable: what happens in the U.K. and Europe doesn’t stay in the UK and Europe.” The current surge in the U.K. and Europe “is the sixth warning… to the United States,” Topol said.

 

I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and

Source: A New Covid Wave Is Spreading In Europe — Here’s Why The U.S. Should Pay Attention

.

Critics:

Experts told The Post that the BA.2 subvariant — essentially the original Omicron variant’s more contagious cousin — has fueled the recent surge in cases and hospitalizations in Europe.

In a separate tweet, Topol wrote that the rollback of pandemic restrictions, along with a natural waning of the immunity afforded by vaccines, had enabled the new subvariant to spread widely.

While the BA.2 subvariant appears to be 1.5 times as infectious as the previous iteration of the Omicron variant, according to early data, there’s no evidence indicating the new version causes more severe disease than its predecessors.

Some reports have described BA.2 as harder to track than BA.1. Scientists tracked the spread of the original Omicron variant by looking for a specific genetic mutation, which BA.2 lacks.

The subvariant will still cause someone to test positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test, but it’ll take extra genetic analysis for researchers to connect new cases to the Omicron lineage.

More contents:

‘Stealth’ Omicron Subvariant Is Likely Behind A Surge In Cases And Hospitalizations In The U.K.

Antigenic evolution will lead to new SARS-CoV-2 variants with unpredictable severity

Once again, America is in denial about signs of a fresh Covid wave

‘Stealth’ Omicron Subvariant Is Likely Behind A Surge In Cases And Hospitalizations In The U.K. (Forbes)

Antigenic evolution will lead to new SARS-CoV-2 variants with unpredictable severity (Nature)

Once again, America is in denial about signs of a fresh Covid wave

 
 
 
 

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Ukraine’s Richest Man Says He’s Doing Everything He Can To Help His Country, And Sparing No Expense

On February 22, as hundreds took to the streets of Mariupol, Ukraine to protest Russia’s approach, the country’s richest person Rinat Akhmetov reaffirmed his loyalty to his nation and its government. Speaking from the port city of nearly half a million people where his mining conglomerate Metainvest is headquartered, he announced that he would continue to make investments in his businesses and country “no matter what dreadful scenarios we face.”

The son of a coal miner who grew up in Donetsk but has not been back since Russia’s invasion in 2014, Akhmetov knew how bad things could get. He had been hit hard by that earlier attack. Several of his assets—including real estate, dozens of gas stations and the home stadium of Shakhtar Donetsk, one of Ukraine’s most successful soccer teams—became virtually worthless overnight after the territories were seized.

This time he was preparing for the worst. “I have already instructed my foundation to help with evacuation, medicines and everything necessary, if needed. We will do everything to prevent a humanitarian disaster,” he said two days before Russia’s invasion.

Since then, his fears have come true as Russia’s ruthless attacks have reportedly left 1,200 dead in just Mariupol. On Wednesday, a maternity hospital there was destroyed by a Russian air strike. “I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Mariupol is in a complete blockade in 2022, that people are forced to hide in the workshops of our production plants,” Akhmetov said in written responses to Forbes Ukraine. “It is impossible to hear or talk about it without tears in your eyes that people melt snow and drink meltwater to stay alive. That a 6-year-old girl died of dehydration under rubble at the center of Europe.”

The billionaire, whose fortune has dropped from nearly $14 billion to less than $6 billion in just two weeks and may likely be much less, responded on Wednesday to questions from Forbes from an undisclosed location in Western Ukraine. His complete answers, provided to Forbes Ukraine, are below.


1. What must the West/the world do to stop Putin?

Akhmetov: “We see the united action of the western world on an unprecedented scale. I am deeply grateful to our international partners for that.

What else can and must they do? I believe everything that Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian President are asking for.”


2. What would be a ‘victory’ for Ukraine, in your opinion?

Akhmetov: “A total ceasefire, complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, and full restoration of the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine.That includes the Crimea and Donbas.”


3. Why the Russian forces target civilians, shell entire residential areas, and destroy cities? What are they aiming for?

Akhmetov: “What is unfolding here is a war crime and a crime against humanity, against Ukraine and the Ukrainians.This can neither be explained nor justified.”


4. Does this war go beyond Ukraine, is Putin aiming at Europe and the US?

Akhmetov: “Putin is aiming at countries that have democracy, freedom, and independence. So all the free world counties are potential targets. If Ukraine together with you fails to stop him, nobody knows who’s next.”


5. How is your company operating during this time?

Akhmetov: “In wartime, our company operates accordingly. Now our utmost goal is to help Ukrainians survive and withstand.”

Akhmetov: “What is unfolding here is a war crime and a crime against humanity, against Ukraine and the Ukrainians.This can neither be explained nor justified.”


6. What are your workers doing? Are they still being paid?

Akhmetov: “Yes, they receive salaries. Today, all our businesses focus all their efforts on helping people. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Mariupol is in a complete blockade in 2022, that people are forced to hide in the workshops of our production plants. It is impossible to hear or talk about it without tears in your eyes that people melt snow and drink meltwater to stay alive. That a 6-year-old girl died of dehydration under rubble at the center of Europe.”


7. How are you using your international network?

Akhmetov: “SCM is an international company. Each of our employees is now using all their connections and opportunities to get the true information across to our international partners that peaceful Ukrainians are dying and suffering, that the tragedy is happening in our country.”


8. How do you help Ukraine and Ukrainians?

Akhmetov: “My Foundation is helping Ukrainians survive by providing water, food, medicines, and any help we can give here and now. SCM businesses are helping the army and territorial defense forces to defend our sovereignty, our freedom and independence, and win the war.”


9. How are you working with other business leaders?

Akhmetov: “I am working with my company and my people. I am doing everything I can. I am confident that other people are doing the same.”


10. Are you in touch with any Russian business leaders? Have any voiced any concerns about Putin’s behavior? Have any talked about trying to oust him?

Akhmetov: “No, I do not have any contacts with any Russian business representatives and I am not running any talks with any of them.”


11. How are you helping Zelensky?

Akhmetov: “First of all, we are helping Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. I have already said this: we are helping and we will keep helping people. And we will be helping our army and the territorial defense to stop the military aggression against our country.”


12. How are you spending your days now?

Akhmetov: “I am in Ukraine and I am not going to leave the country. I share the same feelings with all Ukrainians: I am sincerely waiting for the victory of Ukraine in this war. And we will start to rebuild the country to make it happier and more prosperous. On my end, I will spare no expense or effort to achieve this goal.”

Source: Ukraine’s Richest Man Says He’s Doing Everything He Can To Help His Country, And Sparing No Expense

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