Modern Russian army: socks for soldiers
The Russian Defense minister says its time his soldiers abandon a 17th century custom and wear socks with their boots. Many Russian soldiers use wraps, rectangular strips of cloth carefully wrapped around their bare feet to prevent blisters from tall heavy boots with no laces. It goes back to the time of Peter the Great, who adopted the custom from the Dutch Army. Defense Minister Sergi Shoigu told them to use socks instead of the wraps, called "portyanki." He told high-ranking officers, "In 2013, or at least by the end of 2013, we must forget the word portyanki."