Russia: Civil servant raps army call-up video

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Media captionAnton Gubankov apparently gave up a TV career for this

Russia's armed forces have resorted to getting a civil servant to rap on YouTube in a bid to encourage new recruits.

July marks the countdown to Russia's dreaded autumn call-up, when young men are summoned to serve a year as conscripts. And the defence ministry reportedly headhunted Anton Gubankov from a TV career to take charge of its culture department, selling the prospect of time in the services. Gubankov has written and performed a rap on the "prestige of military service", as the NTV television channel puts it.

The video shows the chunky, bespectacled bureaucrat sit down at his desk and glance wearily through the Red Star army newspaper before discarding his tie and jacket and pulling some shapes. "Batman on the inside and Rambo to the crowd, that's our men and officers - shout it out loud!" are just a sample of the lyrics he lays over some, erm, phat beats, against a patriotic montage of parades, aircraft carriers and jets. "I've tried a dose of creativity to boost the army's authority," Gubankov tells NTV, which informs viewers that "respected rappers" praised his effort. It doesn't say whether this won them an exemption from the draft.

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