Earlier this month, 234 inmates at penitentiaries throughout Russia’s Kirov region took part in a week-long event during which prisoners limited themselves to the same diet that sustained Soviet soldiers during the Second World War. The program was meant to cultivate a sense of solidarity and patriotism among the inmates, ahead of May 9, when Russia celebrated the 72nd anniversary of the USSR’s defeat of Nazi Germany.
Ironically, Red Army soldiers were rationed more meat and fish in 1941 than Russian prisoners receive today.
Kirov’s penitentiary officials didn’t specify the WWII-era diet for inmates, but Soviet records show that Red Army troops in September 1941 were supposed to receive daily rations of 800 grams of rye bread, 500 grams of potatoes, 320 grams of vegetables, 170 grams of cereal and pasta, 50 grams of fat, 35 grams of sugar, 150 grams of meat, and 100 grams of fish.
While today’s Russian prisoners get more potatoes and receive milk, eggs, and jelly, Red Army soldiers were fed more meat, fish, cereal, pasta, and bread.