Yesterday, Russia celebrated Paratrooper Day. Or, if you want to be accurate, the paratroopers celebrated Paratrooper Day, the anniversary of the formation of the Russian Airborne Troops in the Soviet Union.
The paratroopers, known for their distinctive light blue berets, celebrated their 80th anniversary yesterday by drinking, beating up Dagestanis, drinking, storming a cafe and breaking its windows and glassware, driving a tractor onto Red Square (the driver turned out to be a paratrooper poser), drinking, and raiding a watermelon stand. (When bystanders tried to stop them, the paratroopers answered that they were taking “theirs.”)
But the thing paratroopers love to do most on such a day — other than drink, of course — is frolick. In fountains. In their underwear.
Some wonderful shots from yesterday’s celebration can be found at Zyalt’s photo blog, but the day’s spirit is best illustrated by his photoreporting from another iconic holiday, the Day of the Border Guards. It looks about the same, but better.
And that’s when the police approached Zyalt and asked him, “Are you Russian?” Yes. “Then why are you taking pictures?” What’s the big deal? “Why are you embarrassing Russia?”