President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,
I am happy to welcome you here and congratulate you on successfully completing your studies.
By tradition, we host a reception at the Kremlin in honour of top graduates of military academies, institutions and universities. Degrees with distinction are a fair reward for all the years of persistent studies, top grades in main disciplines and excellent results you have achieved in military and special training.
I am sure that the knowledge and skills you have gained will allow you to become real commanders and thus reinforce our officer corps and reliably protect Russia from any external threat.
The year of your graduation is a significant one – the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Our army defended the Fatherland and made a decisive contribution to Europe’s liberation. These great victorious traditions should be preserved and developed by today’s generation of the Russian army officers and soldiers. I am confident that you will be worthy successors to the military glory of your predecessors – and like them, you will faithfully serve Russia and your people.
Comrades, Russia is a nation that is open to the world, a country that advocates strengthening cooperation and partnership with everyone who is ready to do so. We do not have – and cannot have – any aggressive plans. We don’t threaten anyone and we try to resolve all conflicts by political means only, with respect for international law and the interests of other nations.
At the same time, we see that there are many challenges and risks in today’s world, including in the immediate vicinity of our borders. So a powerful army equipped with modern arms is a guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, a guarantee of peace and calm for millions of our citizens. I am confident that you understand this well. So we will consistently continue to develop the Armed Forces and complete the structural reforms we have started in recent years, which will make the military management system and decision-making process more effective.
I will note that today, we are actively strengthening our strategic nuclear forces and Aerospace Defence units, and we have had a significant increase in the combat potential of nearly all types and kinds of troops. In accordance with the State Armament Programme, military arsenals are replenished with the latest arms and military equipment. And these are not just armoured vehicles, aircraft, submarines and ships. We have a serious increase in the supply of high-precision weapons, combat robots and drones. Many of these modern weapons were recently presented at the Army 2015 forum.
We have dramatically increased the intensity of our combat training. Snap inspections have been widespread. This year, we carried out paratrooper landings in the New Siberian Islands and in the eastern Arctic maritime zone. For the first time in global practice, we conducted a search and rescue operation with a landing on the Barneo ice station.
We hope that you will get actively involved in the work to improve the Armed Forces and will do everything necessary to effectively master the newest arms and equipment, as well as ensure high-quality personnel training.
I ask you to pay special attention to this issue. Your task is not only to teach military basics to your subordinates. It is important to educate them in the spirit of true military discipline, patriotism, and loyalty to their duty. An army where such soldiers and officers serve is invincible.
Comrades, today I am happy to welcome those of you who will be working in the law enforcement agencies and special services. Our citizens are awaiting new results from youin the uncompromising fight against terrorism, extremism, crime and corruption. They count on you to reliably stand guard for constitutional order and the rule of law in our nation. You will not only be strengthening the positive trends of the previous years; it is also important to consistently move forward, neutralising external and internal threats to Russia’s security.
The Government will continue its work to strengthen social guarantees for service members. We will do everything necessary so that defenders of the Fatherland have decent service and living conditions. Even now, pays in all security agencies are at the same level as those of experts working in leading sectors of the economy. We are improving the system of allowances for those serving in special conditions.
Thanks to the measures adopted in 2013–2015, the waiting list for housing in the Armed Forces alone has been reduced more than 2.5-fold. We have come very close to the planned provision of housing for service members. Moreover, we are actively developing a savings and mortgage system, we have begun allocating special housing subsidies, and the service housing fund is growing from year to year. All these issues will to be subject to special control.
Friends, I am confident that you will always preserve the dignity of the defender of the Fatherland, augmenting Russia’s best military traditions and confirming the words of Alexander Suvorov through your professionalism and achievements: “An officer’s life and valour is about victory.”
I want to once again congratulate you and all 2015 graduates of military academies. I wish you success in your service, happiness and prosperity to you and your families.
Allow me to propose a toast. To Russian officers! To the legendary Russian military traditions! To your great Fatherland!