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Russia Sending Singers, Circus Performers to Front to Boost ‘Fragile Morale’: U.K. Intel

SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images
SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images

Russia is establishing two “front line creative brigades” and encouraging the public to donate instruments to troops in order to bolster “fragile morale”, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).

“On 14 December 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced the establishment of two ‘front line creative brigades’ tasked with raising the morale of troops deployed on the ‘special military operation’,” the MoD explained in their daily intelligence update on the Russo-Ukrainian war on Sunday.

“Russian media reports that the ranks will include opera singers, actors and circus performers,” they added, observing that the establishment of the “creative brigades” follows on the heels of a “campaign by the Russian MoD to encourage the public to donate musical instruments to deployed soldiers.”
The British conceded that “[m]ilitary music and organised entertainment for deployed troops have a long history in many militaries” — indeed, the British armed forces are famous for their own brass bands and massed pipes and drums — but argued that “in Russia they are strongly intertwined with the Soviet-era concept of ideological political education.”

“Fragile morale almost certainly continues to be a significant vulnerability across much of the Russian force,” the MoD opined, suggesting that singers, circus acts, and musical instruments would not prove equal to the task of restoring it.

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