Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Opens Criminal Probe Into Deaths of 5 North Korean Laborers

Russian Investigative Committee in Bashkortostan

Authorities have launched an investigation into criminally negligent manslaughter after five North Korean workers were found dead at a construction site in southern Russia.

Up to 15,000 Russian work permits are issued to North Korean nationals every year, according to Moscow’s envoy in Pyongyang. Last month, Russia began to deport North Korean workers to comply with UN Security Council sanctions demanding their repatriation within 24 months, over fears that their remittances help finance the country's nuclear program.

The five workers died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning inside a trailer in the city of Ufa, the local branch of the Investigative Committee said in a statement on Thursday.

Investigators said the workers “kindled a fire inside a bucket” to keep warm after their electric heating cable broke.

A colleague of the five victims told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that their bodies were discovered when the morning shift came in to replace the night crew.

“They went into the trailer in the morning to warm up and change clothes,” their colleague told the outlet.

"Conditions there are good, they had electric heating. The cable got cut that day so it became cold,” he was cited as saying.

“They lit a fire to warm up and suffocated,” he said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more