Holiday makers buy tours to the Russian army

Extreme tourists live in real barracks, release hostages and storm buildings

A group of veterans of the Chechen war made up a new kind of extreme tourism for residents of the city of Yaroslavl. The retired military men organized week-long tours in the army service.

Enterprising businessmen took account of the psychological aspect, when they were conceiving the project. Every man, who has never served in the army, subconsciously wants to try himself as a soldier. Young men are always interested in stories told by ex-servicemen. Sometimes they think that they would not disdain to spend a week or two living in the barracks.

The military tour contains as little theory as possible. A week in the Russian army is abundant with practical exercises: skydiving, flying on board a military helicopter, driving an armored vehicle, hand-to-hand fighting, paintball, and such “special operations” as releasing hostages and storming seized buildings. Extreme tourists live in conventional military barracks, and obey all military rules. There is eve a little hazing in the program too.

The idea of tourism for real men only occurred to Andrey Palachev first, a former military man of Russia's special purpose troops, a veteran of the Chechen campaign.

Andrey managed to inspire several of his friends, who agreed to participate in such a daring venture. The new service is called “The Army Tour.” The organizers rented the territory of a former military unit on the outskirts of Yaroslavl. The barracks of the unit were left as they were – it was not really hard for the businessmen to recreate the genuine army environment. The club purchased two decommissioned armored vehicles for the enterprise.

A program of the tour costs $599. The list of services is negotiated with every tourist before the start of the army holidays. The new tour has become popular with adult men, who want to do something really physical, escape from their daily routines and experience a daring adventure. Young students are interested in army tours too: they wish to become acquainted with the taste of the service before joining the real army.

Organizers of the tour say that none of their clients has broken off the army vacation yet. The men, who successfully executed all the tasks and won special berets of the military club, feel proud of themselves.

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Author`s name Olga Savka