Globe & Mail - City governments across Russia drained the water from municipal fountains Thursday, hoping to keep drunken paratroopers from drowning in them. Aug. 2 is Paratrooper Day in Russia and every year more than one million burly active and retired soldiers take to the streets in their signature blue berets and striped undershirts to mark the occasion, often by combining large quantities of vodka with plunges into fountains. Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed to call for restraint Thursday, but with a barely concealed smile, during public remarks to paratroopers in Ulyanovsk. “I hope that Paratrooper Day will pass without excesses, and that your colleagues will behave themselves adequately, at least without gross violations of public order,” he said. Officially, the day is celebrated with cadet marches and memorials. Unofficially, the elite troops start drinking at sunrise, then head off to city parks to brawl. Migrant workers from Central Asia have been targets of violence on past Paratrooper Days, and the Federation of Migrants of Russia issued a public warning to avoid anywhere paratroopers might be celebrating. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow similarly sent out an announcement, saying that while the majority of the celebrations are “jovial and peaceful,” Americans in Russia would be wise to steer clear of “any large crowds and public gatherings that lack enhanced security measures.” Moscow city authorities also distributed several tons of watermelons in a downtown park at no charge; paratroopers had been known to steal them in the past.
Are you shitting me? A MILLION Rooskie paratroopers grouped all over Russia, each double-fisting handles of Stoli is easily the most terrifying place I could ever imagine. I’m fearful for my own safety knowing this celebratory migrant beat down day exists and I’m in another continent. I’d rather be a 9 year-old who farts Cinnabon riding bitch between Sandusky & the King of Pop in the back of a blacked-out conversion van driven by Freddy Krueger than be an Asian migrant worker with a watermelon stand on Paratrooper Day. Especially when fuckin’ Putin is the guy responsible for telling them to take it easy and can’t even do so without a blatant smirk. Right. Now they’re just extra-belligerent since they can’t drunkenly frolic in the water. Putin says he hopes the day will “pass without excesses…or at least without gross violations”. That’s code for “everyone without a blue beret who has no idea what a balalaika is better clear the fuck out for 24 hours or your pummeled body is gonna end up in an empty fountain”.