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17 Nov 2022

Наша Ніва

Belarus: Russian recruiters allegedly encourage construction workers to work in occupied Mariupol & Severodonetsk

[Translation prepared by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]

Belarusian builders are recruited for works in Mariupol and Severodonetsk, 17 November 2022

Instead of bombed-out houses, new ones are being built there, primarily for Russian security forces and colonists. In particular, housing in the "new territories" is promised to those criminals who are recruited in prisons to participate in the war against Ukraine.

“Belarusians are definitely being recruited to Severodonetsk and Mariupol. St. Petersburg and Moscow contractors received orders to build housing there, and in return - they get promises to receive tidbits for construction in Russian cities, ”a participant in the real estate market explained to Nasha Niva.

“Finding hard workers in this area is not easy. In Russia, there has always been more work than people for it - no matter what construction site you come to, Central Asia and Belarus work everywhere. And to go in such an exotic direction, of course, there are no dumb ones. Therefore, they recruit throughout the CIS. With Belarusians, it’s easier for them, since they and Russians are a single workspace, they don’t need any work permits, passports are enough,” our interlocutor added.

Russians pay bonuses to people who earn by recruiting personnel in Minsk, for each recruited to a construction site in Donbass, people from this area told Nasha Niva.

Belarusian builders are promised high salaries - up to 5,000 Belarusian rubles.

“But even for such salaries, it is difficult to find those who want to. Ha! You will go and you won’t come back,” the builder told Nasha Niva.