The Ukraine Report: Producer fights in the war and his company stayed afloat
In the wake of the Ukrainian war, numerous farmers transitioned from tending to their fields to donating military uniforms. Among them was a micro fertilizer producer.
Latifundist Media has partnered with us to provide boots-on-the-ground coverage.
Many farmers changed their work clothes to military uniforms after February 24. Today we speak to Anatoliy Chernyavsky, owner of Kvadrat, a micro fertilizer producer.
We meet him in Kyiv, where he is on a short break.
“I could never imagine that I would ever wear a military uniform for a long time. I did my conscript service in 1990-1992, then I studied at the military department of the university. That was it. Until February 24. Although I did say before: “If the war starts, I will take an assault rifle and go to the front.” I have a house, a company that we built together with my friends. This is my country, and I have to defend it.”
Anatoliy was part of the defence of Kharkiv and the liberation of the occupied part of Kharkiv region from Russian troops.
Before the war, he was a successful businessman, and the company was one of Ukraine’s leaders in the production of starter liquid fertilisers. He was a bike enthusiast.
The Kvadrat plant continued to operate in Kharkiv despite the shelling and the fact that the Russian army was 20 kilometres away from the city.
“It was a tough time at the beginning of the war. Our plant stood idle for three weeks. Despite this, we did not break a single signed contract. But at the cost of huge logistics fees. Bridges were blown up near our plant, so it was impossible to get through. Therefore, we took 3-5 tonnes of products in vans to a safer place, formed a truck there and sent it to customers.”
Anatoliy is not the only one from this company who joined the defence of Ukraine. Unfortunately, three Kvadrat employees who served in the Ukrainian army were killed.
“One of our employees was killed on the second day of the war. He was a reserve officer, a mortar team commander. He was killed and his body was brought home only a month later. It was very difficult: when you visit the wife or mother of a fallen employee, and you have to say something. What do you say to them? Words are helpless here.
Some guys continue to serve. Of course, the company pays their salaries. And we help them as much as we can: if they need a bulletproof vest or a first aid kit.”
Anatoliy says that the hardest thing is that no one knows how long the war will last, as people hoped it would be over soon.
Despite this, the soldier with the unique call sign Kvadrat recently got married, manages to stay involved in professional affairs, volunteers and is already dreaming of getting back on his bike after the victory.
That report was powered by Latifundist Media, with USAID support provided through Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities (AGRO) Activity implemented in Ukraine by Chemonics International. For more information, visit their website or follow them on social media.