Russia’s New Governors Duck Under Tanks to Prove Their Mettle
Weeks after footage surfaced of Russia's next regional leaders jumping off cliffs, video released this week depicts the officials ducking under tanks as part of their training.
Ahead of presidential elections next March, President Vladimir Putin has shown the door to at least 20 regional heads, with more expected to be axed.
Russian media posted a video last month of newly appointed governors jumping from a 7-meter-high cliff near Sochi in preparation for their new posts.
The nine-month training, devised by the Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, is broken into eight sections, the RBC business portal reported Thursday.
The first leg took place in June and the last is expected in February. Participants will also travel to Malaysia and Singapore this winter as part of the program, according to RBC.
RANEPA’s latest training took place at a military field outside Moscow on Oct. 27, RBC cited two participants as saying.
Around 40 lawmakers and government representatives, took part in parachute jumping, as well as firearms and grenade training. “After the parachutes, three people returned home with leg injuries and one with a bad back,” one of RBC’s sources said.
A video published by the outlet showed one participant in military fatigues lying on a yoga mat while an armored personnel carrier drives over him.
The program tests the candidates’ “military strength and readiness for defense,” the second participant told RBC.
The future leaders are also expected to attend team-building events and lectures by top government officials and CEOs including Sberbank CEO German Gref, oil giant Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and oligarch Alisher Usmanov.