President of Russia Vladimir Putin: You all know why we are here today, and so I will not repeat myself again, though there is no repeating the number of times we could talk about the feats of the 6th Company’s men. But we are here now to discuss the issues facing the Armed Forces in general and the paratroopers in particular.
When I said on the parade ground before that our people feel love and pride for and trust in the paratroopers those were not chance words. This is the truth. This really is the case.
But the paratroopers are to be up to the task in every sense of the word. Of course they must be ready in practice for every test that comes their way, and ready to work effectively in conditions of modern warfare.
Let’s talk about all of the different aspects of your life and work – the everyday conditions, training, weapons, in short, about all the different issues of interest to you.
Please, go ahead.
Commander of The 76TH Guards Air Assault Division Guards Colonel Alexei Naumets: Comrade Commander-in-Chief,
First of all, I want to express my real gratitude to you for finding the time in your very busy schedule to come here on this day of tragedy and commemoration to be with us here, be together with the families and relatives who lost in this battle the most precious thing they had. We remember the men who did not leave the battlefield even at the cost of their lives.
I also want to say a huge thank you to you on behalf of all of our comrades in arms for the attention you give the servicemen and their family members, and I can assure you that the paratroopers in my division will carry out any mission that you and the Government give them.
Vladimir Putin: Good, I have no doubt of this. Now let’s discuss the specific issues on your minds.