Russian soldiers fall ill due to thin designer uniform

Thursday, December 16, 2010

LONDON - Parents of young Russian soldiers who are down with pneumonia and flu have blamed the army’s new ‘designer’ uniform for the illness and said it was too thin, it was reported here.

The army’s new uniform was designed by flamboyant Moscow fashion designer Valentin Yudashkin.

Daily Telegraph reported Thursday that Yudashkin won a multi-million-pound tender to give the Red Army’s successor a fashion make-over in 2007 after soldiers said that their old uniforms made them look as if they were in a poor country’s army.

Parents, however, said that the uniforms that were introduced at a grand Red Square military parade in 2008 had put fashion before practicality.

“On the street they (our boys) literally felt naked,” a soldier’s relative told the newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

“They gave our lads army boots made from fake leather with cardboard inner soles, socks, and light clothing clearly not suitable for winter.”

The soldier’s parents said that they scouted the local area in Siberia near their sons’ barracks for traditional Russian fur coats and felt boots so as to complement the substandard uniforms.

The daily said that as the temperature hovered around -40 degrees Celsius and the conscripts not let off outdoor guard duties, they fell ill.

While confirming that up to 250 servicemen in the same barracks were down with pneumonia and flu since mid-October, the army claimed that the new uniforms were not to blame.

“It seems that all this happened because of our slovenliness,” the army’s Chief of the General Staff General Nikolai Makarov was quoted as saying.

The senior army officer and his subordinates suggested that the conscripts had fallen sick as their commanding officers had behaved irresponsibly and made them do guard duty and work in sub-zero temperatures that no uniform could withstand for long periods.

They added that the new uniforms had been tested and found fit for Russia’s harsh winters.

Filed under: Fashion, Lifestyle, World

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