Vladimir Putin congratulated the officers on their new appointments and outlined the tasks before the Armed Forces, law enforcement agencies, as well as intelligence and security services.
The President of Russia also expressed gratitude to Russian military personnel taking part in the counterterrorism operation in Syria for their courage, professionalism and heroism.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades,
Congratulations on your appointment to senior command posts and the bestowment of military and special titles and ranks. I wish you every success in serving Russia and its people.
You are now entering a new and important stage in your careers. I strongly believe that you will do your best to meet expectations, and that you will serve with honour, dignity and in earnest.
The tasks you are facing are extremely demanding, complex and instrumental in terms of ensuring the steady development of the country, protecting national interests and the safety of our citizens.
I would like to thank the Russian service personnel who are taking part in the counter-terrorist operation in Syria. It is their courage, concise and professional action and valour that helped turn the tide in Syria.
More than 90 percent of Syrian territory has been liberated from terrorists. De-escalation zones are being created in close cooperation with the Syrian authorities and our Western partners, and a political settlement and civil reconciliation are progressing.
Let me emphasise that the terrorists are not just some poorly organised groups, but rather units that are well equipped, trained, and are generously financed and highly motivated. The combat action against them demonstrated the enhanced capability of Russia’s Aerospace Forces, Land Forces and Navy. We need to further strengthen this capacity, implement new, promising weapons systems, and enhance the efficiency of combat training.
More than 2,500 military exercises were held in 2017, including the large strategic exercise Zapad 2017, during which training ranges in Russia and Belarus were used to practice combat action planning and troop coordination in countering terrorist attacks.
Terrorism remains one of the main threats for Russia and the world. In 2017, officers from the Federal Security Service prevented 43 terrorism-related incidents. Dozens of terrorists were killed, about 800 members of armed groups detained, and 66 terrorist and extremist cells were destroyed.
There were also substantial results in counterintelligence. In the first six months of 2017, our agencies precluded the activities of 30 foreign intelligence operatives and more than 200 people suspected of colluding with foreign intelligence services.
In order to ensure effective protection of our national interests, the Foreign Intelligence Service needs to engage in systemic and extensive efforts, to extract and analyse existing and new information, and to forecast developments in various regions of the world, especially those close to the Russian border, with consideration for all the factors and risks related to the threats Russia might face.
The Federal Guard Service makes a major contribution to national security. I am confident that its officers will continue their reliable and exemplary efforts as they work on a wide range of special objectives, data collection and analysis, and special communications.
The Special Facilities Service has a unique role in mobilising and training government bodies. I hope that its staff will be able to ensure stable public governance and military coordination even under the most challenging conditions.
People expect interior agencies to undertake proactive and effective action to fight crime, corruption, extremism, drug and arms trafficking, and migration control.
The Interior Ministry as a whole, both its central and regional departments, must focus on protecting Russian nationals, their lives, health, property, rights, and legitimate interests. This requires effective cooperation with civil society and government agencies at all levels.
The Federal Service of the National Guard should also work in close coordination with the Interior Ministry and other agencies. These joint concerted efforts will help the National Guard deliver on its duties, ensure a high level of public safety, including during major public events.
The Russian Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Natural Disaster Relief had to intervene on a number of occasions this year. Rescue teams and firefighters fought fires in the Siberian Federal District, Volgograd Region and Rostov-on-Don, provided relief following floods in Tyumen Region, Stavropol and Primorye territories and Adygeya, took part in a number of rescue operations, and delivered humanitarian aid abroad.
This diverse experience in multiple areas should be used to improve the training of the current and new employees of the Emergencies Ministry.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation focuses on fighting crime, submits evidence to courts and helps convict offenders.
The work of the Prosecutor’s Office is essential for the whole system. In fact, the prosecutor’s oversight is one of the main instruments for enforcing budget and tax discipline, protecting the business and investment climate, and legality in general.
I would like to lay special emphasis on preventive action by prosecutors, which consists of identifying the causes that may lead to violations and demanding that they be addressed, be it in military procurement, education, healthcare or labour rights.
The Federal Penitentiary Service ensures compliance with legal norms and requirements, including with regard to convicted persons. Let me emphasise once again that a harsh sentence should not lead to harsh treatment.
One of the key tasks for this service is to prevent crime so that people who are convicted and pay their debt to society can return to normal life.
Comrades, once again, congratulations to all of you on your appointment to senior command posts and the bestowment of titles and ranks.
I wish you every success in your service, good health to you and your families, and all the best. Thank you for your service and please accept my best wishes.
To conclude today's ceremony, I would like to draw your attention to the following. On a practical level, positive interaction has developed in recent years between various uniformed services, such as the Defence Ministry in general and individual units of the Federal Security Service and Foreign Intelligence Service.
This is having a very good effect on our country, ensures its security, and improves the overall quality and effectiveness of work. I want you to focus on precisely this kind of interaction going forward.
I wish you success.