President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Comrades,
This is a very special day for you all today: your regiment, the 45th Special Purpose Guards Regiment of the Air Assault Forces, is being honoured with a high state decoration, the Order of Kutuzov.
This is a first such decoration in our recent history. Traditionally, orders are awarded for personal merits, and this will remain so of course, but in exceptional cases awards to military unit are also justified, and your regiment fits these circumstances.
The paratroopers have always been considered the Armed Forces’ elite and a model of combat skills and professionalism. But what has always really distinguished the airborne troops is their genuine brotherhood, sealed by devotion to their duty, devotion to their comrades, and selfless service to their Motherland. It was this faithfulness to their ideals that helped the paratroopers towards victory on the frontlines of the Great Patriotic War, fight in the mountains of Afghanistan, and, today in our own time, combat terrorism in the North Caucasus.
Yours is the youngest of the Air Assault Forces units, but you remain true to the traditions your predecessors have forged over the years. Your regiment has carried out highly difficult operations in the North Caucasus, and defended the people of South Ossetia against Georgia’s aggression. You and your comrades have shown unfailing courage and skill in the most dangerous situations, always accomplishing your set missions. Today, you set the example in mastering the latest weapons and employing advanced training methods. Your regiment’s battle history goes back almost 20 years now, and over this time, more than 2,000 of its servicemen have received orders and medals, and ten have been awarded the title of Hero of Russia.
I have no doubt that you will continue to serve our country and protect Russia’s people and national interests with just as much selfless dedication.
Comrade paratroopers, I congratulate you on receiving the Order of Kutuzov.