Russia: Little Soldiers

This guard was not enthused about having his picture taken. He began pacing, turning his back, and glaring as soon as he noticed me and my photographic intentions. What you see above was managed in a moment when he was forced to look smart as a dark executive sedan passed by. I felt a smidge of victory in capturing this because while Russia's men (and women!) in uniform aren't the easiest or most willing camera subjects, they are ubiquitous.

Granted, some of the servicemen sightings were because the Russian equivalent of Fleet Week was going on in St. Petersburg during part of our time there, but Fleet Week or none, there were people in arresting outfits nearly everywhere. It almost seemed like a throwback to what I would imagine the Soviet-era to have been, but I suppose, a lingering sense of a police state should not have come as a complete surprise.

At any rate, I was so unnerved and struck by the number of regimentals diffused throughout the former U.S.S.R. that I made an effort to get a few good shots of them without being overly conspicuous (after all, when a place takes security this seriously, I'd rather avoid arousing suspicion if I can help it). Enjoy.

I love it - the quintessential troika of sailors with brewskies in hand.

Come to find out later, I could/should have been fined for taking this pic. The use of cameras anywhere on the metro is strictly prohibited.

St. Petersburg - just outside the Hermitage. Look at the height of these round crescent-moon hats!

Two serious soldiers walking near the Kremlin in Moscow.

Sleek and sophisticated - there were also plenty of women in this particular getup - doing a sassy strut that accentuated the fact that they each had a dagger hanging from their hip.

And here's Kasey and me modeling the distinctive Russian soldier hats (just so you get the full effect) at the Izmailovsky market in Moscow.

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