I have no idea how we missed this story from last December. But it's too good to pass over.
It seems Putin wasn't kidding when he promised that Russia would be able to compete with Western military technology. As of 2008, the Russian army will adopt the latest in 18th centuary military innovation: socks.
Since the Napolionic wars, Russia's armed forces have been going commando, sort of. Did anyone ever know they weren't wearing socks?
Ern will no doubt remind us that, it shouldn't be much of a surprise. After all, this is the country which invented a word for "the-grass-that-you-wrap-your-feet-in-when-socks-aren't-avaliable." Eternal Remont curses the heavens for ever forgetting such a nifty vocab word like that. But all non-critical brain cells were lost during a legendary bender in Ivanov.
Anyway, farewell to the beloved portyanki. Just think of the smell....