Putin is offering double pay to attract officials to jobs in occupied Ukraine, but many are scared of being killed: report

Putin is offering double pay to attract officials to jobs in occupied Ukraine, but many are scared of being killed: report
Russian President Vladimir Putin with Ukrainian separatist regional leaders Vladimir Saldo (L), Yevgeniy Balitsky (2L), Leonid Pasechnik (R) and Denis Pushilin (2R) during the annexation ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace, September 30, 2022, in Moscow, Russia.Getty Images
  • Russia is facing personnel shortages in occupied regions of Ukraine, per independent outlet Meduza.
  • Meduza cited two officials who described fears of new Ukrainian attacks among Russian officials.

Russian officials are reluctant to take jobs in occupied regions of Ukraine, despite promises of higher pay, out of fear of Ukrainian attacks, according to a Russian media report.

The threat of more Ukrainian counteroffensives in the annexed regions, which include Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, have made Russian officials reluctant to take jobs there, two sources close to the Kremlin told independent outlet Meduza.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree last September formally annexing the four Ukrainian regions, with plans to bring them closer to Russia and pay their employees double, per the outlet.

But higher pay does not make up for the risk of Ukrainian attacks, the two unnamed officials told Meduza.

Since late last year, Ukraine has retaken parts of eastern Ukraine. An unspecified number of Russian officials, including Alexei Katerinichev, a Russian-installed official in Kherson, have also been killed, per the outlet.


At the same time, an unnamed Russian-installed official appointed to a ministerial role in one of the occupied regions told the outlet that leaving a position there for Russia is considered "desertion," which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

To make up for the personnel shortages, the Kremlin is holding electoral contests modeled on the "Leaders of Russia" competition, which is seen as a career springboard for Russian officials, Meduza reported, without giving details on the number of participants.

Russia's Defense Ministry also announced last month that people in the four occupied regions will be included for the first time in its conscription campaign.

The draft, which started on October 1 and lasts through the end of the year, aims to call up 130,000 additional soldiers, according to Russian state media outlet TASS.