Prisioneros del Ejército Rojo

MOSCÚ – Algunos de las reliquias más interesantes de la Unión Soviética en Rusia son los feriados que se siguen celebrando, casi dos décadas después de la caída del comunismo. El 23 de febrero, los rusos celebran el “Día del Defensor de la Patria”, un equivalente grosero del Día del Padre pero con un toque militarista. En este día, las hijas, esposas y novias les regalan presentes a los hombres rusos y les prodigan atención. (Para hacer justicia, también existe el “Día de la Madre”- el 8 de marzo- y un recientemente popular Día de San Valentín).

Durante los tiempos soviéticos, el 23 de febrero se llamaba el “Día del Ejército y la Marina Soviéticos”, y celebraba la creación del Ejército Rojo. El feriado recibió su nombre actual en 2006 y, según un sondeo reciente de la encuestadora rusa FOM, el 59% de los rusos lo considera especial o significativo (el 32% no).

Desafortunadamente, el 23 de febrero no es la única reliquia que perdura del Ejército Rojo. Otro legado militar soviético es el sistema de conscripción obligatoria. Mientras que el resto de los países grandes de Europa abolieron la conscripción militar en las últimas décadas, Rusia continúa con un sistema en el cual todos los ciudadanos de sexo masculino físicamente aptos, entre 18 y 27 años, deben servir durante 12 meses. Las excepciones se basan en condiciones médicas y se les otorgan a estudiantes universitarios y empleados de ciertas organizaciones (por ejemplo, la policía). Aproximadamente 500.000 hombres jóvenes hacen la conscripción cada año.

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