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Russian troops will be wearing berets for the first time next month as they march in the annual parade to mark victory in World War II.
Most of the nation's soldiers will eventually be kitted out in the new berets, Defense Ministry spokesman Vladimir Drobyshevsky told reporters on Friday.
The Air Force will wear light blue berets, similar to those Paratroopers have worn for many years, and the Army and other services will wear military green.
The only exception is the Navy, Drobyshevsky said, as sailors will stick to their traditional peakless cap, although other branches of the Navy, such as the Coast Guards, will get black berets.
Russian soldiers currently wear field caps, which experts say is a hangover from Soviet times and serves to maintain the rivalry of the Cold War.
So on May 9 it will be bereted troops who will march through Moscow's Red Square to mark 66 years since the end of World War II, known in Russia as the 1941-45 Great Patriotic War.
Last year's 65th-anniversary event took on special meaning as troops from Britain, France, the United States and Poland marched across the hallowed cobbles of Red Square for the first time. The parade also included a 1,000-strong military band, tanks, missiles and 127 aircraft.
MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti)
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- shanksinhaUnnecessary things10:53, 17/04/2011When greater and pressing challenges confront the Russian military, the decision to go for the "beret look" to avoid so called cold war hangover is both regrettable and unnecessary. It’s difficult to understand how peak caps are reminiscent of cold war and if that is really so, why not avoid of soldiers marching through Red Square at all, since that shall be a more visible reminder. Isn’t it rather cheap to make changes to intrinsic military traditions and customs because someone else likes or dislikes? After all it was while wearing these very peak caps that the valiant Russian soldiers toiled and fought for victory in the great patriotic war.
How long will Russia change its ways to soothe American and NATO nerves? What has the west done to avoid cold war reminders? Weren’t they equally responsible for the cold war and everything that is had come to represent?