Moscow, Feb 4 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian soldiers will be able to trade in weekly trips to bathhouses for regular shower rooms by the end of the year, according to plans announced Monday by the defence minister.
"I've given instructions to set up shower rooms in all military units by the end of 2013," Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
"About 50,000 of them will have to be equipped," he said.
In January, Grigory Naginsky, head of Russia's Federal Agency for Special Construction, said showers would be installed in all the barracks of the country's so-called military towns. There are about 500 such towns.
Naginsky said the Russian army now has a system in which "all week a soldier just washes his face and upper body (at a sink or basin), and then on Saturdays they all march in step to the bathhouse".
Now, the goal is to create a more homely atmosphere: "Come back in the evening, take a shower, go to bed."
The shower plans are the latest in a series of comfort improvements the defence ministry has announced in recent weeks.
In January, Shoigu said he would rid the army of its antiquated "footwraps" and replace them with socks. Later, the designer of the new army uniform said ear-flap hats traditionally worn in winter would be replaced with more modern headgear.