September 03, 2021

Grace, Poise, and Firepower



Grace, Poise, and Firepower
All that's missing are bears and vodka and you have the greatest Russian stereotype we've ever encountered. Youtube, Виктор Коняев

 

Each year, Russia's tank biathlon draws tank drivers from throughout Eastern Europe, the former Soviet states, and the wider world to compete in driving and shooting competitions. Spectators this year, however, were treated to high culture alongside forty-ton killing machines.

The Belarusan team (from Russia's mustache-sporting-dictator-ruled westerly ally) produced a team of ballet dancers for the second day of festivities, who performed a section from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake on the rear of two T-72 tanks.

The dancers were from the Imperial Russian Ballet, and, frankly, their adeptness at navigating the turret and top of the tank was rather impressive.

The video shows both tanks and APCs driving synchronized into a muddy area. Then, the dancers emerge from the tank's hatch: young men in tanker's coveralls, and women in white tutus. They then dance gracefully, no doubt avoiding falling into what appears to be very wet, brown muck. At the same time, other tanks drive in formation along to the music.

At the end, they slink back into the tank's hatch, the ballerinas holding flowers to congratulate them on a successful show. In true Tchaikovsky fashion, the display closes with the firing of a self-propelled artillery piece.

Oh, Russia. Never, ever change.

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