Communal workers clean up debris after a rocket attack near a college in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Saturday amid the Russian military invasion. Kharkiv and its surroundings have been the target of intensive shelling since February. Photo by Vasiliy Zhlobsky/EPA-EFE
August 14 (UPI) — Russia would not pay military reservists and volunteer units fighting in Ukraine as well as Russian laborers brought to occupied areas.
Russian reservists and volunteer soldiers have reported that Russian authorities have failed to pay them, according to an analysis Saturday by the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington, DC-based think tank, which quoted the Radio news outlet. Free Europe Idel.Realii.
The recruits told Idel.Realii that they had no experience but were exploited as commanders at the company level or above.
Russia also did not provide enough food, ammunition or cigarettes to the soldiers, the recruits told Idel.Realii.
Russia has also failed to provide funeral arrangements for volunteer soldiers killed in action and those who returned from Ukraine say they felt “cheated”.
The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported on Friday that Russian officials have detained contract soldiers who refuse to fight in special detention camps in occupied Ukraine.
On Sunday, the Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry posted an audio clip on Telegram claiming to be that of a Russian soldier in the Kharkiv region.
In the clip, the soldier would talk about the status of recruitment into the Russian armed forces, including the lifting of restrictions on recruitment and notes the absence of people from Crimea, according to intelligence officials.
The Institute for the Study of War also noted that Russian-backed occupation administrations “likely face internal challenges” that hamper their regimes and hamper the ability of occupation officials to carry out projects. reconstruction in the Donbass region of Ukraine.
MediaZona, another independent media in Russia, posted a video on Saturday in which workers at Russian water utility Mosvodokanal claimed they had never been paid for work in Ukraine’s Luhansk province, which together with Donetsk makes up the largest region of Donbass.
Petro Andryushchenko, a city councilor from Mariupol, claimed in a Telegram message on Saturday that Russian authorities had brought bricklayers and electricians from St. Petersburg to Mariupol who had been promised double their pay in Russian cities but who had never been paid.
“The occupiers are bringing workers from Russia to work in the occupied territories. They promise high wages, but in fact they are ‘throwing away’ money,” Andryushchenko said.
“Local residents are not hired for these jobs, they are second class people.”
Andryushchenko said the workers are working without contracts and have been “abandoned” by Russia.
“If this is the attitude towards ‘theirs’, then what can be said about local residents,” Andryushchenko said.
“The majority of residents of Mariupol are unemployed. And those who managed to find a job are not paid. For this reason, employees of the city’s water company have been protesting for several days, as they are used to a living wage for their work.”
The Institute for the Study of War said in its analysis that the ubiquity of imported Russian labor “suggests that Russian occupation authorities have difficulty in persuading or forcibly coercing significant numbers of Ukrainian residents to work on reconstruction projects”.