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Russia's 'Nazi' Postal Uniforms Create Internet Buzz

Russian postal officials are not amused by the jokes making the rounds online about their uniforms. This week, Russian-language bloggers were having fun comparing the uniforms -- black with silver finish on the lapels, shoulder insignia, and hats -- to those of Nazi SS officers. The meme was particularly popular among Ukrainian boggers and social media users.

“At the request of the veterans of the Russian Post, I would like to underline the insulting nature of comparing the attire of postal workers with the Nazi uniform,” Vadim Nosov, director of the post office’s media projects department, told RIA Novosti.

The meme was set off by staff photographs of senior managers in Kemerovo and Arkhangelsk oblasts on the Russian Post's official website.

“I almost did a 'sieg heil' when I saw the new post office uniform," Aram Gertman, a blogger from Moscow, tweeted.

Alex Terra, a Facebook user from Kyiv, posted a picture of a Nazi SS officer with a photo of Yevgenya Zhilina, director of Kemerovo Oblast's postal service, apparently photoshopped on the wall behind him.

The caption reads:

“Excuse me, are you a Nazi?”

“What are you talking about? I work for Russian Post.”

Zhilina’s photograph on the Russian Post website has since been changed, although bloggers have saved a screen grab of the original.

Nosov said the the photos making the rounds on social media are "fake." He added that "the uniform of managing postal workers is a dark blue color, while branch workers have a slightly lighter shade. The uniform on the photographs circulated on the Internet was simply colored in black."

The press service of the Russian Post, meanwhile, argues that there is nothing wrong with the uniform and that the online derision hinged on a single bad photograph published on the Russian Post website.

They also said the uniform is not “new.” Manufacturing of the uniform design was actually terminated in 2013.

"It was introduced in 2011 for the general director, his deputy, and the managers of the directive," the press service told the tabloid Argumenty i Fakty. “Then it was abolished. They left it only for the general director and his deputy for branch development."

-- Tom Balmforth

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