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Old Believers Guide Russian Commandos Through Siberian Wilds (VIDEO)

© Sputnik / Said Tsarnaev / Go to the photo bankServicemen of the mountain motorized infantry brigade. File photo
Servicemen of the mountain motorized infantry brigade. File photo - Sputnik International
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A group of Tuvan Old Believers helped military instructors guide a force of Russian special forces trainees across 100 kilometers of rough Siberian terrain.

The local Old Believers – members of a Christian religious denomination that split from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17th century – helped the soldiers of the Kyzyl Motorized Infantry Brigade navigate treacherous terrain and learn important survival skills.

The lengthy trip was in fact the final stage of a 30-day special forces training course held at the Ergaki training facility in southern Siberia. During this hike the soldiers improved their land navigation skills and trained to scale cliffs, traverse rivers, establish camouflaged camps, make fire and forage for supplies.

Each serviceman was issued five rounds of ammunition to be used in case of an encounter with predatory animals like bears, but fortunately the troopers managed to complete their long trek without firing a single shot.

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