An Uzbek political party has urged law enforcement agencies to investigate a video showing an official from Russia’s LUKoil company using offensive language against local employees in Uzbekistan and calling them a “flock of sheep.”
The pro-government Adolat Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan said in a November 13 statement that the comments by the official -- identified as Ivan Shilov -- amount to an “infringement of human dignity” and violate Uzbekistan’s constitution.
“The party emphasizes that it is necessary to conduct an investigation...[and] consider bringing criminal or administrative charges against the official who has gone beyond the scope of his official authority, and inform the public about the results,” the statement said.
In footage obtained by RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service, the official is shown raising his voice and berating Uzbek workers with foul language that includes sentences like: “F*** your f***ing village” and, “You’re standing here like a flock of sheep.”
Speaking Russian, the official and the workers are all seen wearing LUKoil uniforms. The video was sent to RFE/RL by a group of workers from the LUKoil Uzbekistan Operation Company, who said it was recorded at the Jarquduq gas field in the Dehqanabad district of Qashqadaryo Province.
The workers, who didn’t want their names disclosed, claimed they decided to share the video with RFE/RL after their managers ignored the workers’ complaints. They said the video was recorded in late October.
One Uzbek employee from the company told RFE/RL that such an attitude toward local workers is not uncommon.
He added that local workers who don’t speak Russian face “public humiliation, insult, and dismissal from work for minor mistakes.”
The worker, who spoke to RFE/RL by phone, requested anonymity, fearing possible repercussions.
RFE/RL contacted the LUKoil Uzbekistan Operation Company office in Tashkent seeking comment about the incident.
A human resources employee said the official in the video is Ivan Shilov, the company’s chief electrical engineer.
He added that company managers are aware of the video and have obtained written pledges from the workers involved that they won’t share it on social media.
The human resources officer spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media.
RFE/RL was unable to reach Shilov, who came to Uzbekistan from the central Russian city of Perm.
Russia’s No. 2 oil producer and a major investor in Uzbekistan’s energy sector, LUKoil describes Uzbekistan as one of the “core regions” of its operations.
LUKoil is working in Uzbekistan under a production-sharing agreement that accounts for one-quarter of all of the Central Asian nation’s natural gas output.