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Common Omens and Superstitions of Russian Soldiers

Soviet soldiers in Berlin

Soviet soldiers in Berlin (by War Album)

The profession of a soldier assumes a high, and sometimes deadly, risk to life. At the same time the history preserved numerous proofs that in desperate situations, despite anything, the soldiers managed to survive.

Every soldier has his omens, his own superstitions. The common thing, however, is to avoid death. Someone always carries with him his talisman,and it could be any object, such as …a ballgrenade. Most importantly , you should not tell anyone about this talisman .

Still, there are also common omens and superstitions .

Soldiers Never Say “Last”

“My last flight”, “last parachute jump” – these words are strictly prohibited. This is to make sure that those flights and jumps were not last. Instead, they say “latest”, “previous”.

Soldiers Try not to Shave and not to Wear Clean Clothes before the Fight

In imperial Russian army soldiers before a fight used to put on clean clothes, preparing, just in case “to go to God.” It was a sign of accepting your destiny – because in the old days battles were very deadly and bloody.

But in the 20th century this tradition changed into the exact opposite: you shouldn’t shave, shouldn’t put on clean underwear. That is, as if a soldier is saying: “I’m not ready to leave this world yet.”

You Should not Gift Anything before a Battle

During the World War II, if someone from the Red Army died, his humble personal belongings were distributed among his comrades, because it wasn’t always possible to send them to relatives.

It is possible that this is where the tradition originates of not giving any gifts before a military operation.

An Omen of Long Life

During military operations anything can happen. Due to mistakes, confusion, soldierswith similar names could be mistakenly included in the list of departed. If this happens, it is believed that that soldier will live a long life.

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During any gathering, not just the military, you can often hear a toast with very important words for every Russian person:  “Let there be no war!”

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To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

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