“There have been changes made to the soldiers’ daily schedule to give them the opportunity to follow the Winter Olympic Games,” a statement on the Russian defence ministry’s website said.
For a month, soldiers based in the southern military district, which includes the Sochi region, will have an extra four hours per day to watch sports broadcasts on flat-screen televisions, it said.
Even fighters who are not in the barracks can watch the competitions. “For soldiers in isolation from places of permanent deployment, automobile clubs PAC- 07, equipped with satellite TV sets will be organized”, the Defense Ministry reported.
There was a section devoted to the Olympics on the official website of the defense department. The calendar of competitions is published there, as well as information about all the athletes-soldiers.
There are 60 of them at the Olympic Games in Sochi: 33 soldiers , 28 of which are from sport troops, and 27 representatives of civil personnel of the Defense Ministry.
The idea is to “form a healthy community” and “strengthen camaraderie” among soldiers, the ministry said.
The Russian army is one of the largest in the world and its ground forces consist of mainly young conscripts. The military has struggled for years to overcome an unappealing image of rife corruption, hazing, and outdated equipment.
The opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics last night in Sochi, Russia had quite a number of memorable moments. But one of the most-talked about performances came from members of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs choir and their rendition of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” This is not the first time this choir has tackled this song, they posted a video of themselves singing the incredibly popular tune back in November. The world clearly needed a repeat performance, but sadly, this technically happened before the opening ceremony and was cut from the NBC live broadcast. Regardless, sing it loud and sing it proud (although half of these singers look as though they resent life), because this Grammy-winning track deserves all the love it can get.
The interior ministry has its own military troops, including conscripts.