Defense Ministry Announces Jazz Project to Nourish Soldiers’ Souls

ULYANOVSK, September 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Defense Ministry has a new project to bring a bit of culture to its troops, and it involves jazz music.

The endeavor will be called “Ten Major Global Jazz Melodies,” and it will feature some smooth and snappy tunes posted on the ministry’s website – possibly as early as this year, the Defense Ministry’s culture head, Anton Gubankov, said Friday at the Third International Culture Forum in Ulyanovsk, a Volga region metropolis 900 kilometers (550 miles) east of Moscow.

Gubankov explained that a literate, educated officer should know not only patriotic tunes, but jazz as well. “We’re already patriotic enough,” he said. “When soldiers are marching in formation, they sing patriotic songs, but after service you want something for your soul. The jazz melodies project is a project for the soul.”

The task of the Defense Ministry is to make the army more modern, adaptive, friendly, understandable to young people and more open, Gubankov continued, attributing a recent rise in the public’s level of confidence in the military to the “positive manner” of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

“According to the latest information from [state polling agency] VTsIOM , the level of confidence in the army is 61 percent,” he said. “It hasn’t been like that for many years.”

The ministry has been working hard to boost the military’s popularity with the public, promoting Russia’s soldiers through projects like a military embroidery competition, the television show “Tank Biathlon,” and the planned creation of a patriotic military park outside Moscow.

Showcasing a passion for rhythm, Russia’s army even has a song and dance ensemble, which turns 85 years old on October 4.


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