The different colors of a TELNYASHKA

What are the meaning behind the colors in a telnyashka

Which color?

Telnyashkas come in different colors

Before the end of WW2 telnyashkas were produced exlusively for the Navy and came only in one color configuration: white with blue stripes, as we have learned in the history of the telnyashka shirt section.

The book "The Doronin Brothers" (Братья Доронины) by F.A. Lushnikov tells us how the first non-navy telnyashkas entered other regiments.

In 1956, USSR Major General Lisov asked one of the famous Doronin brothers (who curated the advancement in parachute technology for the URSS, especially for what concerns parachuting of large military cargoes in the field) whether it would be possible to conduct a massive airborne attack by having troops jump in water, carrying their full attack gear and inflatable boats.

This was something that has been never tested before, and Major General Lisov was certain it could give Soviet troops an advantage over enemies.

The only way to test this new technique was to test it during the training camp, by doing a landing in a lake in lieu of the sea.

The scheduled day for the test jump was extremely windy and rainy, and everyone involved was sure it would have been rescheduled. General Lisov replied to that by saying that everyone jumps when the weather permits, and that Soviet units needed to train for the most unfavourable situations in order to have an edge against their enemies.

The team that conducted this test was composted of Major General Lisov, the two forementioned Doronin brothers and officers Tereshenko, Osvyannikov, Solovyov, Sheker, and Ustinovich

At an height of 450meters above sea level, the group bravely jumped in the thick cold rain, with zero visibility and strong winds.

As they landed in water they used the parachutes to sail themselves quickly towards the shore.

Once they all reached land safely, Colonel Ustinovich said that thanks to this test the ВДВ (Воздушно-десантные войска России - Russian Airborne Troops) can now be considered both air-landing and sea-landing experts; as he said this he unzipped his suit and extracted telnyashkas for everyone.

The 2005 decree number 532 "On military uniforms, insignia of servicemen and departmental insignia" ("О военной форме одежды, знаках различия военнослужащих и ведомственных знаках отличия") was the first decree to regulate telnyashka use across different parts of the military, as follows:

Which troops use the black striped telnyashka?

Contrary to what most people believe, including Wikipedia, no troops use black striped telnyashkas.

The Presidential decree n.531 of 08/05/2005 (and later amendments of 28/08/2006) "О военной форме одежды, знаках различия военнослужащих и ведомственных знаках отличия" ("On military uniforms, insignia of servicemen and departmental insignia") clearly enunciates the colors for the different divisions (as illustrated in the color table above), and submarine units / naval infantry clearly belong to the blue striped, navy section.

Even the English version of Wikipedia mentions this non-existing black color, and assigns it to naval infantry. Fortunately, in the Russian verson of Wikipedia, there is no mention of a black striped telnyashka.

Let's debunk the claims

English Wikipedia and several other entities claim that the black striped telnyashkas are used by:


Russian marines units are the naval infantry Морская пехота России

As stated above, they belong to the navy and use their navy blue color telnyashkas, according to the Presidential decree n.531 of 08/05/2005.

This color, under certain conditions, might be mistaken for black:

Russian Marines Морская пехота России
Navy blue telnyashkas, they look black until you notice the contrast with the actual black uniform. Credit: Wikipedia




Nonetheless, a black striped russian telnyashka would be an excellent choice for civilians willing not to steal valor, leaving the official garments to those that actually earned it.