Women workers are forced to strip to their underwear as part of daily checks to prevent theft in undercover footage from Russia’s version of Amazon run by the country’s top female oligarch
A leaked video shows how women are forced to undress and undergo searches to ensure they are not taking banned items in or out of their Wildberries workplace.
The company is run by Putin-friendly oligarch Tatyana Bakalchuk, 47, a self-made billionaire mother of seven and one-time English teacher with close Kremlin links.
The video is reported to be in St Petersburg – Putin’s home city – but evidently shows how her women employees in many locations are forced to strip to their underwear for shaming searches by female inspectors.
This happens in the morning and evening, according to several reports.
Bakalchuk’s platform Wildberries has mushroomed as Russia’s largest online marketplace with more than 48,000 employees amid claims it has profited from ‘grey’ imports bypassing Western sanctions.
The strip-searches happen in the morning as staff arrive and as they leave the premises in the evening
The video shows women searched by female inspectors but men are also subjected to the ritual, according to reports
The company is run by Putin-friendly oligarch Tatyana Bakalchuk, 47, a self-made billionaire mother of seven
The strip search footage has caused shock in Russia.
life.ru said morning searches are carried out to stop warehouse employees carrying phones or watches into the workplace.
‘Workers, under the supervision of video cameras, undress and go to the inspection point,’ said a report.
Other reports say ‘the working day in Wildberries warehouses ends with a search and stripping down to underwear.
‘This is the company’s management trying to fight against theft in warehouses.’
The video shows women searched by female inspectors but men are also subjected to the ritual, according to Life, whose journalist went undercover at the platform.
‘Our correspondent… felt all the ‘charms’ of working in the “Berries” warehouse,’ it reported.
‘He worked there for only three days, but he had enough impressions to last a lifetime.
‘According to his investigation, every morning in the warehouse really does begin with a humiliating procedure.’
Bakalchuk – Russia’s richest woman – had a fortune of £10.7 billion yet her empire has been hit by recent strikes over her strict work demands.
Recently she faced a workforce rebellion around Russia over draconian new rules to deduct money from the payments of employees if a customer complained they were sent the wrong item or because of product defects.
Bakalchuk – Russia’s richest woman – has a fortune of £10.7 billion but her empire has been hit with a number of claims of poor treatment of workers
life.ru said morning searches are carried out to stop warehouse employees carrying phones or watches into the workplace
The exposed women lined up for further security checks. Male workers are also searched, according to reported
Tatyana Bakalchuk, left, is the founder and owner of Wildberries, Russia’s biggest online store, known as ‘Russian eBay’ and ‘Russian Amazon’
Her methods have brought stunning success during Putin’s war in Ukraine with a 95 per cent year-on-year rise in turnover.
Putin consults her on retail policies in online meetings.
The platform was originally set up by Bakalchuk when she was on maternity leave in 2004.
It had 1.5 billion orders in 2022 as a vital retail channel at a time when the Russian economy was hit by punitive sanctions due to Putin’s war against Ukraine.
Kyiv has sanctioned both Wildberries and Bakalchuk as sellers of Russian military uniforms and propaganda.