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Belarusian Man 'Escapes Russian Forced Labor'

A Belarusian man, Mikalay Shpak, has reunited with his family after what he says was a daring escape from forced labor in Russia. Shpak left Belarus to work in Russia in 2001 and hadn't been in touch with his family since 2005. Shpak says he was forced to work at several places, most recently at a fishery in Ufa, in the republic of Bashkortostan, which he alleges was run by high-placed officials. He told RFE/RL's Belarus Service that his captors seized his documents, preventing him from leaving, beat him, and constantly threatened him. After an unknown informant contacted his family, members of the Belarusian volunteer group Angels and the Russian aid group Alternative helped locate Shpak and arrange his travel to Belarus. (RFE/RL's Belarus Service)