Russia's Defense Ministry is celebrating the Year of the Dog by showcasing its ultimate weapon — puppies.
The Chinese calendar celebrates the year of the Yellow Mountain Dog on Feb. 16, 2018. Some of the New Year's rituals have been appropriated in Russia since the late 1980s and early 1990s.
On New Year's Day, Russia's Defense Ministry published a minute-long video of frolicking puppies titled "Loyal friends wish you a happy New Year." The footage featured pups and older dogs from the military Dog Breeding Center outside Moscow.
The ministry's charm offensive in the first week of 2018 was not limited to canines. Earlier on Monday, the ministry tweeted a picture of two young military cadets in season’s greetings to its social media followers.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also thanked soldiers based abroad in a televised New Year's Eve address, singling out troops who "liberated Syria from terrorists."
"You are a worthy example for those whose military uniform is still too big: For the younger generation, for our young cadets,” he said.