The Moscow Times: Russian factory workers offered to take part in war in Ukraine

Employees of Russian factories that have been hit with sanctions are offered to take part in the hostilities in Ukraine, The Moscow Times reports, citing employees of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) and Lebedinsky GOK mining and processing plant.

According to the news outlet’s sources, employees of USC subsidiaries Admiralty Shipyards and the Baltic Shipyard were offered to sign a contract with the Russian military for a monthly salary of 300,000 rubles (about €4,700).

“It looks like they picked only those with St. Petersburg residency [to attend the recruitment event],” one of the workers said.

According to another factory worker, the offers were made to experienced workers. “For example, they asked a middle-aged employee who served in the Second Chechen War to come to the conscription office,” one of the workers said.

Employees of the Lebedinsky GOK mining and processing plant, which forms part of Metalloinvest Management Company owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, are offered to come to Ukraine as “volunteers” within private military companies, the Moscow Times learned. Those who agree must request an unpaid leave from their employer. They are offered a monthly salary of 205,000 rubles (€3,220) at the private military company.

The Metalloinvest press service has refuted these claims. “Neither the LGOK [Lebedinsky GOK] nor the OEMK [Oskol Electrometallurgical Plant] nor any other Metalloinvest enterprises have never discussed the issues of military service with their employees, nor are they planning to,” the company said.

Yesterday, IStories reported that the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organisation, had offered convicts serving time in St. Petersburg prisons to come to Donbas to “help detect Nazis.” Volunteers were promised 200,000 rubles (€3,150) for six months of service. They will also be granted pardon if they come back alive. In the event of their death, their families will be paid five million rubles (€78,640).

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