President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,
I want to congratulate you and all military service members and civilian personnel of the country on the Defender of the Fatherland Day.
This holiday has long since acquired the high status of a national holiday. Such a sincere and heartfelt attitude towards military service is based on an understanding of its significance; honouring the courage of all those who protected and continue to protect our Motherland, its interests, its peaceful, calm life; and, of course, pride: pride in the legendary accomplishments of the Army and the Navy.
We send our most sincere words to the great generation of victors who defeated Nazism. You overcame the harshest, most unthinkable hardships. You showed what the power of love of the Fatherland means, to what heights of courage and bravery this holy feeling lifts a person, you left your descendants an everlasting historic lesson of unity of the people.
Today we honour all the veterans of the Armed Forces, the people who made such a vast contribution to the development of the Army and Navy, to enhancing the glorious traditions of the Russian warrior host, to the education and professional training of new generations of soldiers, sailors and officers.
Our officers are well known to have their own particular military patriotism. They devote their lives to defending their Motherland, and these are their ideals, their honour and their key values. Such a responsible, selfless attitude towards military service is characteristic of the Russian military. And they are rightly considered to be a strong pillar of the state and society.
I would like to thank all the service members who are currently helping the people of Syria in their fight against terrorism, for their bravery and resolve. You display the most noble qualities, saving misfortunate people, providing them with medical aid and delivering hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian cargo.
The names of the heroes, our contemporaries, the deeds of the best Russian soldiers and commanders, have become our common legacy. They should serve as the benchmark for those young people who chose for themselves hard service in the army and in the navy.
Russia’s security, the protection of its citizens, is certainly in good hands. Our armed forces have tremendous combat potential, they are in a state of constant readiness, capable of acting accurately and cohesively, and of confidently repelling any aggression.
Recent years have witnessed dramatic changes in the military arena of the country. This is an undeniable reality of our life. And we shall continue to work on strengthening the professional and organisational components of the Armed Forces, on increasing their mobility and combat readiness.
Among the priorities are the enhancement of the strategic nuclear shield and modern aerospace forces, as well as strict execution of the State Armaments Programme. The growing capabilities of the national defence and industrial complex allow us to secure the implementation of our large-scale plans.
Once again, I sincerely wish you a happy holiday. I wish for you to steadily reach your goals, and to achieve new success. I also wish for your families to be an unfailing base of love and support. I wish health to you and your loved ones.