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Putin’s version of eBay and Amazon strip searches women employees


Women who work at a Russian e-commerce company that has been compared to Amazon and eBay must undergo humiliating strip searches at the entrance to their offices, according to newly surfaced video.

The clip leaked purportedly shows the women undress before they are forced to line up and go through a security checkpoint manned by female scanners at the entrance to the St. Petersburg offices of Wildberries, the tech firm that runs the country’s largest online retailer.

According to Russian media, the searches are done in order to prevent employees from carrying phones or watches into the workspace as well as to crack down on theft.

“Workers, under the supervision of video cameras, undress and go to the inspection point,” said a report. 

Men are also apparently subjected to the humiliating searches, according to Russian news agencies.

Wildberries, which is said to employ some 32,000 workers throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union, is owned by Tatyana Bakalchuk, a 47-year-old entrepreneur who is considered Russia’s first self-made woman billionaire.

According to reports, Bakalchuk had an estimated net worth of $13.3 billion in 2021.

Last month, Russian state-run media agency TASS reported that workers at the company launched a nationwide work slowdown in response to a new company policy that made them liable for any items that were returned because they were defective or because they were sent to the wrong address.


Women employees of Russian e-commerce giant Wildberries were made to strip down to their underwear before being allowed to go to work.
Social media/e2w

Video surfaced online showing women warehouse workers being forced to remove their clothing.
Video surfaced online showing women warehouse workers being forced to remove their clothing.
Social media/e2w

Video surfaced online showing women warehouse workers being forced to remove their clothing.
The women work at a Wildberries warehouse in St. Petersburg.
Social media/e2w

Video surfaced online showing women warehouse workers being forced to remove their clothing.
Women security guards inspect their belongings before they are allowed to begin their workday.
Social media/e2w

“We will go to work so as not to violate the terms of labor contracts, but we won’t hand over goods to buyers,” the head of a social media group which represents Wildberries employees told the Russian-language version of Forbes.

According to the report, one Wildberries employee had their wage reduced by 500,000 rubles — or the equivalent of $6,581 — as a result of the new system.


Tatyana Bakalchuk
Wildberries, which is said to employ some 32,000 workers, is owned by Tatyana Bakalchuk, a 47-year-old entrepreneur who is considered Russia’s first self-made woman billionaire.
Forbes Russia/Ivan Kaydash

The semi-work stoppage compelled the company to suspend the new regulations, according to reports.

Since Vladimir Putin ordered his military to invade Ukraine more than a year ago, hundreds of Western companies have pulled up stakes and left Russia altogether.

The Russian economy has been battered by Western sanctions imposed by nations that are no longer buying its key exports, including oil and natural gas.


Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin leads a country that has become more isolated since the invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.
Kremlin.ru/e2w

Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire oligarch, said last month that Russia was running out of cash.

“There will be no money next year, we need foreign investors,” Deripaska, who made his fortune in the raw materials market, told an economic conference.

Tensions between the US and Russia were further ratcheted up this month when Russian authorities detained Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, on charges of espionage.

The US government has declared Gershkovich “wrongfully detained.”



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