27 August 2012, 17:07
Russian chaplains to wear regular military uniform
Moscow, August 27, Interfax - Chaplains of the Russian armed forces will be provided with winter and summer dress uniforms, said Boris Lukichev, the head of the Defense Ministry's department for religion in the military.
"Uniform is a very important aspect, and the defense minister has ordered chaplains to be provided with summer and winter dress uniforms, including ear-flapped field caps, boots and other items," Lukichev said on Ekho Moskvy radio on Saturday.
Insignia have not been confirmed for champion, so far, he said. "Military clergy belong to various religions, and making a common sign for all of them would be wrong. But this problem will be finally settled," he said.
"Two hundred and forty-three chaplains' positions have been opened in the armed forces. During the |war of 1812, the Russian armed forces had 240 priests. A symbolic coincidence, isn't it?" he said.
Pastoral service in the armed forces is not a novelty and the first priests joined the troops during Peter the Great's reign, he said..
The work of chaplains, attached to the Black Sea Fleet, is organized better than in other arms and services, he also said. "Archpriest Alexander Bondarenko spoke at the Black Sea Fleet's Military Council meeting on July 31. A religious culture university has been set up at the fleet," he said.
Lukichev made special mention of Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, the chaplain of the Land Forces. "The Russian Orthodox Church is ready to send more than a hundred priests to the troops," he said.