Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported that between 60 and 250 servicemen have been laid up with everything from flu to pneumonia as Arctic chills sweep through the country’s northern reaches.
“They literally felt naked outside,” the paper quoted the mother of one solider as saying. “Many of them ended up in hospital. Ours developed pneumonia,” she said of her son.
The government daily said defence officials have admitted not receiving complaints about the uniforms in time to do anything ahead of the winter season.
“It seems that all this happened because of slovenliness on our part,” Joint Staff General Nikolai Makarov told the daily.
Introduced in 2008, the parade uniforms designed by fashion celebrity Valentin Yudashkin are threaded with gold and more shapely and chic, in a throwback to the uniforms of the imperial Tsarist army.
The field versions, meanwhile, are lighter and come with thinner but more mobile boots.
Russia designed its first post-Soviet uniform in the 1990s, but it was unpopular with officers who complained that it made them look like they were serving in a Third World army.