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Leave your tears beyond the checkpoint. Sertolovo hosts survival training for female servicemen


The Sertolovo army field now hosts trainings for young female soldiers. The military terminology names it as «intensive military training with survival elements». Its schedule is no different to the one undertaken by men. Alexander Burenin met the women who know a lot about guns


If a bulletproof vest fits. These girls carefuly help each other getting into uniform and then take to the cartridges. They have to load 40 bullets within a time schedule. 35 seconds gets you a top mark. Some work in gloves - not to harm the nails. But most of them have already left manicure and other women stuff behind.

- I dont put make up on at the firing range, it goes away 

Oficially, there’s no cutting some slack for the female soldiers, but, naturally, male commanders want to somehow soften the initial impressions about the life in the uniform. And while many of these girls were inspired to join the army by their military parents or relatives, hearing about the army life is one thing, delving into it is a totally different one.

Yuriy Yusov, commander of the training batallion: «The most difficult part is discipline. And working with weapons. Its scary at first, but they get used to it».

Male commanders try not to raise their voices - considering psychological aspects - but they say that female soldiers leave their tears beyond the checkpoint. They cant get it right from the first attempt, sometimes even from the tenth, their accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. But they get angry, try hard and improve their results after a few weeks. Making men envy.

After shooting practice, they have to deassemble the rifle. Hands are tired, but trainer’s stopwatch is counting down seconds. Failed to meet the criteria - start all over. Those who passed stay - with a feeling of women’s solidarity - and watch over their colleagues. They say one can get used to everything. And the expression «weaker gender» is totally banned here.

Its hard to get up, all these wakings on schedule

I miss sweets the most.

With spring coming into town, the smell of gunpowder disappears quicker.

Alexander Burenin, reporter: «The training shots will go silent on March 8th. On this day even those women serving in the army will have a day off. Around 30 percent of those trainees who get the best results will be able to leave, others will be congratulated here. The day will be free and will be culminated with a concert. The civic tradition of presenting women with flowers on that day will certainly be observed here too».