THE chairman of Ukraine Railways (UZ), Mr Alexander Kamyshin, has announced his resignation to take up a position leading the new Office of European Integration of Ukrainian Railways in Europe.

Kamyshin says the decision was made with the agreement of the vice prime minister for the restoration of Ukraine, Mr Oleksandr Kubrakov.

“Leaving my position [with a] calm heart,” Kamyshin tweeted. “UZ keeps running, #iron_team doing [a] great job. Grateful to my President Zelenskyy and VPM Kubrakov for high estimation of my performance.”

He began his career in 2006 as an auditor with KPMG, and in 2009 became CEO of KMZ Industries. Between 2012 and 2019 he was supervisory director of Portinvest and Lemtrans, the port and railway business of SCM Group, before becoming managing partner of Fortior Capital in 2020. He became acting chairman of UZ in August 2021, and was appointed chairman on October 25 2021.

Kamyshin has won praise and admiration from around the world for his leadership of UZ following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The railway has proved a vital life line for the country, carrying refuges and grain out and bringing in vital supplies and equipment. The railway has also proved vital to Ukrainian diplomacy, safely carrying world leaders including US president, Mr Joe Biden.

With his hair tied back in a signature top knot, Kamyshin has also stood out at major events such as InnoTrans, where he continued to push for greater support of UZ and Ukraine.

He made headlines around the world earlier this month when he apologised for one in 10 trains being delayed during Biden’s visit to Ukraine.

Kamyshin has also at times goaded other railways on Twitter by comparing their problems with his own. For example, Kamyshin responded to a tweet from ScotRail in Britain on December 5 warning passengers of ice on platforms and paths by warning Ukrainian passengers of Russian shells on the railways, while affirming his goal to “keep running on schedule.” He has regularly directed his tweets at Amtrak, comparing Ukraine’s passenger services with those provided by the US national operator.

Kamyshin has also regularly used Twitter to provide updates on the work that is being undertaken to keep the UZ network operational, sharing harrowing stories of fellow workers who have been killed during the fighting.