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Russian Military Discourages Use of Antidepressants Among Soldiers in Arctic

Russia's military has spoken out against the use of antidepressants by its soldiers stationed in the Arctic region, saying the use of such medication was at odds with the spirit of traditional Russian medicine, the Interfax news agency reported Sunday.

"If you are physically active on a regular basis — and they [soldiers] have everything for that there [in the Arctic] — if they entertain themselves, remain in contact with relatives, nothing bad will happen," Interfax quoted Alexander Fisun, the head of the Defense Ministry's main military medical directorate, as saying Sunday. "We have enough methods to correct the psychological state of soldiers and increase their working capacity. Pills are the third or fourth thing on our list."

Fisun also said that special attention was being paid to the diets of soldiers serving in regions deprived of sunlight to ensure that their vitamin intake was conducive to good mental health.

In March, Russian conducted massive military drills in the Arctic with nearly 40,000 troops. The country created its Arctic Joint Strategic Command late last year after President Vladimir Putin called for increased Russia military presence in the region.

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