RUSSIAN MILITARY UNIFORMS RETURN TO THE PAST
MOSCOW, February 14. (RIA Novosti)-The Russian military uniform will be restored to Soviet models. This year, eagles will be removed from the caps and stripes with the Russian tricolor and the words Armed Forces from the sleeves. The Russian greatcoat designed in 1802 and the Russian leather high boots with foot binding will not be changed. Innovations for the elite spetsnaz (special forces) include thermal under suits and insoles. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov signed a decree on this last year, but it was kept secret until recently, Gazeta informs its readers.
Lieutenant General Sergei Shliayev, the head of the central clothing directorate of the Defense Ministry, said the former badges of rank were necessary to distinguish Russian servicemen from their colleagues from the former Soviet republics in the early 1990s. There is no need for this now, said Vyacheslav Sedov, head of the ministry's press service. Now servicemen will have a stripe on the left sleeve denoting their unit, and a stripe denoting the branch and arm on the right sleeve. Chief Herald Master of the Army Oleg Kuznetsov has approved the new uniform.
Russian leather boots and foot binding remained unchanged. General Shliayev believes there is nothing better than high boots for bad weather and bad roads. Russian and American peacekeepers in Bosnia were stationed side by side. When spring thawed out the roads, the Americans drowned in their boots and froze in their rubber boots. So, they asked the Russians to lend them their high boots and learned to wear foot binding. They are indispensable in battle conditions, as they are highly practical and hygienic.
On the other hand, the general did not say why spetsnaz in Chechnya wear American uniforms and Western boots.
Russian quartermasters are proud that uniforms are made of almost natural fabrics (80% cotton and 20% synthetic fiber), while American uniforms are made of 50:50 fabrics.
One element of the new uniforms, designed in historical traditions, is the olive color, which was introduced in the Russian army during the reign of Peter the Great. The field-service cap - the first headwear of Russian pilots - has been preserved, alongside formal caps, and the hexagonal shoulder straps and two-headed eagles on the buttons are traditionally Russian, too.
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