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Russia is trying to recruit drivers who know Ukraine's roads

The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine warns of a sharp rise in online ads seeking truck drivers.
Center For Countering Disinformation/Screenshot By NPR
The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine warns of a sharp rise in online ads seeking truck drivers.

The online job ads seek truck drivers to transport fuel and other items. Some of them promise work along Ukraine's border with Russia and Belarus. But Ukraine's government says the postings are linked to Russia's military — an attempt to hire local truck drivers who know Ukraine's roads.

There's been a sharp rise in online ads for trucker jobs in Ukraine since March 19, according to the Center for Countering Disinformation, part of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council. But anyone who applies could be taken hostage and put into dangerous situations — and possibly be forced to commit crimes against their own country, the agency said.

Warning signs include ads for truckers with experience driving fuel tankers — likely to supply Russian vehicles, the agency said — and refrigerated cargo — likely for moving bodies, it said.

Some of the ads mention working along Ukraine's borders, or in Georgia or Armenia, but others seek drivers with knowledge of roads within Ukraine, the agency added.

The agency said the ads are part of the Russian military's attempt by to give new momentum to its invasion, which has been hobbled both by Ukrainian resistance and poor logistical planning.


This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.