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Russia's crack regiment - the Kremlin guards

Published time: October 17, 2007 00:00
Edited time: October 17, 2007 00:00

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, for many young men serving in the army lost all its prestige. One regiment, though, has always been considered a good place to serve.

New computers with internet connection and an individual approach to each serviceman may be out of the ordinary for the Russian army. But in the 154th Commandant Regiment they are indispensable. The regiment’s soldiers, who to take part in Victory Day Parades and other elite ceremonies, do have to have both a fit body and a clear mind.

To serve there, conscripts need to pass a special psychological test. Along with it, appearance also counts a lot. And if those short-listed are twins, their chances are even higher.

Aleksandr and Nikolay Gutorov, who make up one of the six pairs of twins serving in the elite Moscow-based regiment, believe being twins adds to the aesthetics of ceremonies they are involved in.

“Let's say we're laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Twins are the best to do it – they're the same height, it's easier for them to hold the wreath and they perfectly understand each other,” the brothers say.

Aesthetics does play an important role in the regiment. That's why the government even decided to bring in professional designers to make new uniforms.

“When the whole country finds out that designer Valentin Yudashkin is making a new uniform for the Armed Forces, I'm sure more people would want to try it on themselves,” says Mikhail Baryshev, Deputy Commander of Training. 

New designer uniforms are a logical move in raising the prestige of the Russian Army. And the look of the elite regiment’s soldiers marching impeccably in the Kremlin and changing guards in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier only adds to it.