The Kremlin invited 400 top graduates from 18 military schools, who graduated with honours and gold medals, as well as professors and heads of military education institutions.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades officers, friends,
By tradition, our meeting is taking place in the Grand Kremlin Palace. Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no reception this time. Nevertheless, we have gathered at the St George Hall – the hall of Russian military glory – to honour the best of the graduates of military schools and academies of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Emergencies, law enforcement agencies and special services.
You have gone through fitting professional training and completed your studies exceptionally. I am quite certain that you are ready to tackle the most high-responsibility tasks aimed at the main goal – to ensure national security, protect peaceful life, and Russians’ rights and freedoms.
You have made your life’s choice; like many generations of sons and daughters of the Fatherland, you have devoted yourselves to military service as well as other areas that are essential for the confident, stable development of our country and society.
You will now continue and strengthen the legendary traditions of valour and honour, courage and patriotism that have at all times served as a guideline for our officer corps.
These covenants have always been cherished in the Russian army and navy. At present, the combat readiness of Russian arms and services directly depends on the commanders. This has always been so of course, but today, it is especially important. The personnel’s military skill and morale, their ability to act quickly, competently, clearly and harmoniously in the current conditions largely depend on the commander – taking into account the latest technology.
The role and responsibility of a commander have increased many times over. There is need for more than fundamental theoretical training in military science. You must also be willing to continue to learn and to help your subordinates master the latest military equipment, because modern armed forces are a veritable alloy of advanced technology, innovation and knowledge.
Hypersonic weapons – the Avangard and Kinzhal (Dagger) complexes – have already been put on combat alert. Other unparalleled weapons systems, including Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, Zircon ship-based hypersonic missile and the S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft systems to name just a few, are coming soon.
Of course, military service is, by and large, prosaic. However, the formation of a new state armament programme based on advanced developments by the leading research teams, defence R&D institutes and design bureaus with a planning horizon to 2034 is already underway and its implementation will seek to further strengthen the country's defence capabilitiy. And, of course, you are the very ones who will be operating this equipment.
The most stringent requirements are also imposed on graduates of law enforcement educational institutions and special services. You will stand next to your comrades who ensure law and order, rescue people, deal with the aftereffects of natural disasters, fight crime, corruption and terrorism, and protect the country and our people against internal and external threats.
Significant and visible results in these and other key areas guarantee people’s trust and Russia’s steady and progressive development. I am confident that all of you, each in your assigned position, will act professionally, decisively and firmly in the interests of our Motherland – just like your mentors, teachers and commanders taught you.
I would like to thank everyone who passed their experience, knowledge and officer camaraderie traditions on to you.
Congratulations on your graduation.
I wish you every success in serving in the interests of the people of Russia and our great Motherland.
Vladimir Putin: Friends, comrades,
As you can see here, on the walls of the Kremlin’s St George Hall, there are names of units and names of people who distinguished themselves in the armed conflicts and wars waged in the interests of the country.
This is what comes to my mind in this context and this is what I would like to say to you. The people who served in these units committed heroic deeds in the interests of Russia without thinking that their names will be eternalised on the walls of a Kremlin hall. Certainly not.
They believed that they had been granted a great honour, namely to serve their Motherland. Live up to this honour, be worthy of our predecessors.
I wish you good luck in your difficult military work.
All the best to you. I wish you every success.