MOSCOW, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The Russian army has received new guidelines that advise checking soldiers for tattoos but a defense official said gay men were not being targeted.
The guidelines state that tattoos are a useful indication of a recruit's character, the BBC reported.
"Special attention should be paid to tattoos around the face, and on the sex organs and buttocks," the guidelines noted.
The guidelines, which cover all aspects of military life, said tattoos may indicate a "low cultural and educational level" and "possible sexual deviations."
However, a Defense Ministry official told RIA Novosti Friday gay men were not being targeted and the advice is aimed at the health of all recruits.
Commanding officers and their assistants would merely be concerned with "a soldier's health and his appearance," the official said.