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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades, friends,
Let me congratulate veterans and the Armed Forces’ military and civilian personnel – all those who are currently serving and who have served in the army and navy – on Defender of the Fatherland Day.
This holiday is not only an official state and professional one. In Russia it is rightly considered to be a national holiday. And we celebrate it by honouring those who safeguard our peaceful lives and defend our country’s national interests.
This holiday embodies historical and military traditions, the millennial history of Russian statehood, and the sacred memory of the feats of our ancestors. Pride in Russia’s military glory, a deep understanding of the high value of military service, and a sense of duty to protect one’s Motherland are passed on from generation to generation. Such patriotic emotions live on in our people’s blood, in their national character, and are furthered by history itself, which is replete with examples of the bravery and courage of the defenders of the Fatherland.
We have just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad; this heroic victory was achieved by Soviet soldiers. Their unparalleled tenacity, sacrifice and strength of spirit paved the way for the full and final defeat of Nazism. There have been other great liberation battles in our country’s history. Enemies have sought to take over our land and enslave our people more than once, but they were always met with iron will and steadfast resistance.
”This holiday embodies historical and military traditions, the millennial history of Russian statehood, and the sacred memory of the feats of our ancestors. Pride in Russia’s military glory, a deep understanding of the high value of military service, and a sense of duty to protect one’s Motherland are passed on from generation to generation.“
And we must do more than simply remember these valiant events and honour the military traditions of our fathers and grandfathers; we must do everything so that devotion to the Fatherland and a willingness to defend it become incontestable social values. And military service is particularly important in this respect.
Ensuring Russia’s reliable defence capabilities is a priority of our state policy. Unfortunately, today’s world is far from supporting quiet, secure development. New and no less complex conflicts are being added to old, longstanding ones, and instability is growing in huge parts of the world.
Hence, we must be prepared to defend our country and its citizens at any time, to be able to predict future developments, and to develop our military capabilities in accordance with this prognosis.
Much has been done in recent years in order to achieve these goals. We plan to upgrade 70 percent of all main types of weapons by 2020. Naturally we will accomplish this by drawing on the strengths of our national defence industry. We will rely on national industry and design centres, into which huge funds are being invested in order to accomplish the above goals.
Overseeing fundamental changes in the military is a difficult, complex process, but also one that is long overdue. Putting it off implies compromising our country’s security.
The key to the success of this great challenge involves relying on people, traditions, and on the continuity of developing national armed forces. We are to ensure a healthy morale among the military. The morale of the Armed Forces should be high. Ensuring that this is the case is the professional, personal responsibility of every officer and commander.
Obviously, modern military and defence technologies are of great significance in today’s world and in the development of the Armed Forces. But it is equally important to have strong, highly professional, well-trained staff, service members who are able to perform the combat tasks of both today and tomorrow.
”Educated people must be drafted into the Armed Forces. It is the duty of the state to create the required conditions for their service and guarantee quality of life. This is an integral part of the development of Russia’s Armed Forces.“
Educated people must be drafted into the Armed Forces. It is the duty of the state to create the required conditions for their service and guarantee quality of life. We will consistently continue to improve the social security of military servicemen. This is an integral part of the development of Russia’s Armed Forces.
We are guided by modern trends in the military science. But it is nevertheless important to preserve the best traditions of the Russian army and its history. In this regard, Russia’s officer corps holds a special place. Our ancestors determined its status, one related to becoming a soldier by vocation.
Officers display a special, military patriotism. They choose military service first and foremost in order to serve and protect the homeland. The Fatherland’s best fate is their fundamental ideal, their highest moral value, and the reason why they constitute such strong and reliable support for Russian statehood.
Russian officers maintained the army and preserved our country in very difficult instances and trials in recent history. I am convinced that our officer corps was and remains the heart and soul of the Armed Forces. The valour, honour, dignity and decency of Russian officers will continue to serve as an example for subordinates, new recruits, our society at large, and for our young people.
Dear friends, once again I congratulate you on this holiday! I wish you and your families success and prosperity!
Thank you for your attention.