Russian President Vladimir Putin said on 7 January that he had been promoted to the rank of lieutenant as platoon commander of a howitzer artillery division.
"It turns out, we are both artillerymen. I was promoted to lieutenant as an artilleryman, platoon commander of a howitzer artillery division… 122-millimetre [calibre]", Putin stated.
A video of the conversation has been published on the Kremlin's website.
On Christmas Day, the right to shoot off a salvo was assigned to Vladimir Bendet, 85, an esteemed builder of Russia. The president congratulated him on his birthday and presented him with a pen. Then they made simultaneous shots.
The tradition to shoot off a midday salvo from the fortress dates back many years, and the line for firing a shot is fairly strictly observed.