Pushing soldiers to jump through flaming hoops and other obstacles are notoriously common training tasks among authoritarian countries. A recent video shows Russian special forces troops running an obstacle course comprising a tunnel formed by giant U-shaped stakes on fire. Russian special forces troops, Spetsnaz ran an obstacle track with their Uzbek teammates, including flaming hoops.
Russian Ministry of Defense posted the minute-long video to its YouTube channel:
The video caption reads: Servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Uzbekistan have begun combat coordination to perform combat training tasks at the Termez mountain range in the Surkhandarya region. The special forces units of the two countries made a 15-kilometre march, breaking through an anti-personnel barrier, a moat with water, a destroyed wall and a tunnel.
Russia has 17,000 Spetsnaz troops further divided into 14 ground forces and naval brigades. These specially designated troops are well trained along the lines of the U.S. Army Rangers. In this exercise, the troops belong to one of the three Spetsnaz brigades centred in the Caucasus, or the 3rd Guards Spetsnaz Brigade located in Tolyatti.
Russian Ground Forces don’t practice with flaming obstacles like many western countries. “The more authoritarian the nation or group, the more likely fire is involved in their training.” This bizarre practice is known to be common in the Middle East and Central Asia.
In 2014, People’s Liberation Army troops in Heilongjiang province forced themselves through flaming hoops while carrying an assault rifle. The same video was also released in 2016.
Here you can see some recruits to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades jumping through flaming hoops. It is a West Bank terrorist group. I still can’t figure out what the point of this exercise is!
Also, here’s another video of a Pakistani anti-terrorism force jumping through flaming hoops:
Do soldiers actually jump through flaming hoops or pass through fire tunnels on the battlefield? I guess no. The practice itself is quite bizarre with no significant purpose. The act of jumping through a flaming hoop is more of a display of personal courage or just an act of commitment to the system.
Lastly, this 2020 video of Egyptian police cadets at their graduation training surpasses every other exercise by forcing troops to pass through four flaming hoops. There is also a hoop made of army rifle bayonets and lined with sparklers. Can you imagine?
I think I don’t need to say this, but please don’t try these at home.