The President said, in particular, in his telegram:
“We are deservedly proud of the Russian Air Force’s glorious and heroic history and names of those brave, courageous and truly talented people who dedicated their lives to its creation: N. Zhukovsky, A. Mozhaisky, S. Ilyushin, A. Tupolev, A. Nesterov, V. Chkalov, I. Kozhedub, I. Pokryshkin, and many other worthy sons of our Fatherland.
Russia was home to the first flying aces and the polar flight detachments. It created the legendary fighter planes, attack planes and bombers that gave our Air Force superiority in the Great Patriotic War. And of course, it was our aviation successes that enabled us too, to achieve humankind’s bold dream of flying into space and conquering the Universe.
Today, modernising our military aviation is an important part of the overall programme to modernise Russia’s Armed Forces. The authorities give priority to training top-class specialists, carrying out important research, and supplying the Air Force with the very latest modern technology.
I am sure that you will continue to carry out your missions and make a big contribution to strengthening our defence capability and national security and will continue Russian aviation’s marvellous traditions.”