Leader of the Donetsk militants Alexander Zakharchenko issued a decree ‘On special measures to protect the interests of the DPR’, which was published on one of the separatists’ websites. Under the decree, Rinat Akhmetov and 48 businessmen are banned from entering the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.

The list of the banned persons also includes henchmen of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia after the 2014 Revolution. Among them are the Klyuev brothers, Boris Kolesnikov, Nikolai Levchenko, Oleksandr Klymenko, Sergei Kurchenko, Viktor Pshonka, Raisa Bogatyrev and others.

Ukraine’s Security Service launched a criminal probe into Rinat Akhmetov’s companies on charges of supplying timber to militants in the temporarily occupied Donetsk and Lugansk regions - a crime defined as ‘funding terrorism’ and punishable under Section2 of Article 258-5 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code.