All parts and garments of the new uniform are handmade
In the middle of September, an event will happen in Russia that will change the image of the state. President Vladimir Putin will view the parade of his new cavalrymen escort. The uniform and decorations for the new prestigious unit are currently being produced at the Association of Art Studios in the town of Lomonosov.
Yevgeny Grebenyuk, spokesman for the association, says, the works to design the uniform were started in 1994. "There are three companies in the regiment, a hundred military men in each of them. We received another important order on the threshold of St.Petersburg's 300th anniversary celebrations - to design a special uniform for the presidential escort. The special uniform consists of a rather heavy shako, belts, shoulder-belts, cartouches, and official decorations patterned on the Life Guards uniform as worn in 1812-1909."
All parts of the uniform are handmade. Such high-quality and historic similarity items are not produced in any other country of the world. The worst thing about the new uniform is the 800-gram shako - it will not be easy to wear it. That is probably why, the presidential escort will consist of big-headed men. However, Yevgeny Grebenyuk said, the average head size of an escort soldier was 56. Military men will have to wear shakos over woolen hats, because it will be a solely outdoor service.
Like the presidential regiment, the presidential escort consists of 300 military men. However, there were only 108 sets of uniform ordered. Probably, soldiers will be wearing them by turn. An escort is an elite cavalry unit. The regiment was dissolved after the perestroika, but now it is rising again under Putin's aegis. Barracks have already been built, but horses have not been purchased yet. The escort needs broken in, calm horses. Until recently, the president and his guests were escorted by motorcyclists that did not have to take care of their motorbikes' temper.
Yevgeny Grebenyuk did not agree to open a commercial secret and expose the sum that had been paid for the military equipment of the presidential escort. Yet, he said that Russia was not the most ceremonious country in the world as far as official ceremonies were concerned. Russia's expenses in this respect are a lot lower in comparison with the ones of Great Britain, for example. Yevgeny Grebenyuk believes, Vladimir Putin leads a much more humble life than his predecessor Boris Yeltsin did. Everyone remembers the scandal with Pavel Borodin and the huge sum of money that was spent on the restoration of the Kremlin halls. Eyewitnesses say, "the walls are made of gold there." Putin avoids Yeltsin's luxury - the president's office is a lot smaller and not so luxurious as Andreyevsky and Georgiyevsky Halls of the Kremlin. They say, Vladimir Putin has never sat on the Kremlin thrones. Moreover, they take the thrones away during official ceremonies.
Another symbolic place that was outfitted especially for Vladimir Putin is the office in the presidential train. Yevgeny Grebenyuk has personally visited the office: "The office looks very modest, it is only six square meters. There is a small bedroom next to the office and a small shower room." Vladimir Putin does not use the train often, though.
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