An insider has said potential new recruits to senior positions are being tested for ‘endurance’ and ‘readiness for defence’ – but several have been injured trying to prove themselves.
The tough training is being done by regional governors, according to reports in Russia, following a cull which has seen around 20 of them lose their jobs.
A Presidential election will be held in March, and the military-style training is being seen as a means of ensuring loyalists to the Putin administration are in key posts.
One person who took part in the parachute jumps claimed to RBC : “Three hopefuls left after the parachute jumps with leg injuries, and another with a bad back.
“The jumps were designed for guys weighing 60-70 kg, not 100 kg (16 stone).”
He said he did not know what the purpose of the exercise was.
A video shows governors lying on a mat on a parade ground outside the capital Moscow while an armoured vehicle drives over them.
The politicians have to lie motionless between the wheels of the huge machine until it has passed over their heads.