MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) – A group of Russian Orthodox priests will undergo military training at a Defense Ministry university in Moscow, the Russian army said Friday.
The clergymen will undergo a month-long course in military history, war tactics and military regulations of the Russian Armed Forces, as well as how to provide psychological and emotional support to troops, according to a statement by the Central Military District. The statement did not say when the training would take place.
The number of chaplains in the Russian Armed Forces has almost tripled in the past two years and currently stands at more than 80. The recruitment drive has really taken off under Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, British newspaper The Telegraph reported earlier this year. Shoigu was appointed to the position in November last year.
The training is part of a project to restore full-scale military priesthood in Russia, which existed from the 18th century to the start of the Soviet era. The plan was announced in 2009 by then-Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev.
In March this year, a group of Russian paratrooper chaplains jumped from a transport plane with a large mobile cathedral that they set up in the field upon landing near the city of Ryazan, about 200 km southeast of Moscow, the army said. The airborne chaplains made the parachute jumps to “improve the morale of young fighters,” a Russian defense ministry official said.