Ten interesting facts about Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoygu

Sergei Kuzhugetovich Shoygu has been serving in the Russian Government as the Minister of Defence since 2012. Prior to that, Shoygu was taking the position of the head of the Ministry for Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) from 1991 to 2012. Defence Minister Shoygu holds the rank of the General of the Russian Army. 

1. The name of Sergei Shoygu's father is Shoygu, and his surname is Kuzhuget. When Kuzhuget Shoygu, the father of Sergei Shoygu,  was having his passport issued for him, the passport registration officer got the name wrong and misplaced the name and the surname. 

2. When Sergei Shoygu chaired EMERCOM, he did not sit in the office all the time, but traveled to different parts of Russia, visiting disaster-stricken sites. When he was asked why he was doing that, Mr. Shoygu replied: "I do not want the rescuers, whom I respect immensely, ever ask me if I was there." 

3. Shoygu likes classical music and plays the guitar very well. 

4. Defence Minister Sergei Shoygu does not go out of Russia for holidays. He spends all his holidays in the country and prefers to go to his native Sayan Mountains. 

5. Shoygu holds absolute record in terms of the tenure among all contemporary Russian politicians in the rank of the minister. He chaired the EMERCOM from 1991 to 2012. During this time, the number of employees of the department increased from 150 people to 300,000 people.

6. Sergei Shoygu is an artist: he is fond of painting. Shoygu prefers the watercolor technique on wet paper. In addition, he goes in for woodcarving and even has his own home studio.

7. In 1991, Shoygu supervised the operation to prevent the fall of a 700-ton pipe at the Ufa Oil Refinery. The event was included in the Guinness Book of Records. 

8. In February 2009, Sergei Shoygu proposed to introduce criminal responsibility for denying the victory of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War.

9. During Shoygu's service as the Defence Minister, the number of professional soldiers (300,000) has exceeded the number of recruits (276,000) for the first time in Russia's military history. 

10. The Minister of Defence supports Spartak in football and CSKA in hockey. 

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov