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Factory Moving From Eastern Ukraine to Russia

Its buildings destroyed by artillery fire, a machine-building plant in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk is being gradually moved to Russia, and its staff are going with it, a news report said Wednesday.

Over a month ago, amid growing violence in eastern Ukraine, the management of the Luhansk Machine Building Plant, which produces ball bearings and tractor wheels, started looking for a place to evacuate to in Russia, its primary customer for the last 12 years.

"First we inspected six sites in the Rostov region but there were already too many refugees there so we went further into Russia's central area," Nikolai Druziyev, a technical consultant for the Luhansk plant, was quoted as saying by the Rossia-24 television channel.

The decision finally came to move to Cheboksary, about 650 kilometers east of Moscow, where the plant's owners found a vacant warehouse and started preparing to install equipment that is currently being transported under gunfire from the old site, the television report said.

Had half of the equipment not been held up at customs, the factory could have already resumed production, the plant's management said. The plant expects to resume production on Friday, albeit on a small scale.

With the intention of starting anew in Russia, the families of 23 of the plant's workers moved to Cheboksary about a month ago, where apartments had been rented for them.

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