Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military Astrologers Waiting For an Opportunity to Shine

If the Kremlin's military advisers should ever fall out of favor, a second wave of adjutant astrologers is ready to step in, a Russian newspaper reported Thursday.

A team of stargazing army officers at a military research center in St. Petersburg has been building up its credibility in tests for several years and now provides the army's general staff with a dossier of astrologically based disaster forecasts every three months, the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

Led by Captain Alexander Buzinov, the team cross-references the movements of the sun, moon and stars to predict plane crashes, shipwrecks and other dire happenings. Buzinov said his team has an almost 100 percent reliability rate.

He cited one prediction sent to the top brass last September that a military transport plane would crash in the Irkutsk region in the last quarter of 1997. On Dec. 6, a transport plane hit a housing complex in Irkutsk, killing 80 people.

Other triumphs claimed by the team include the exact date of the death of Chechen leader Dzhokhar Dudayev and the sinking of the ferry Estonia. They even say they know the date of birth of President Boris Yeltsin's successor, but they aren't telling.

Unfortunately, their job is to provide a prognosis, not a warning, lamented Buzinov in the article, and no one does much to avert impending calamities.

Defense officials were unreceptive to the suggestion that the military sponsored astrological activity, but confirmed that Buzinov serves with the laboratory.

"Buzinov is an amateur astrologer; that's just his hobby, not his official capacity," a Defense Ministry spokesman said. "We don't take any information from him or his colleagues."