President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,
I congratulate veterans, service members, civilian personnel of the Armed Forces – all those who served in the Army and in the Navy – on the coming holiday, Defender of the Fatherland Day.
This holiday is celebrated by the entire country. This nationwide tradition has at its core deep and sincere feelings of respect for those who reliably guarantee the defence capacity of Russia, and protect the peaceful life of our citizens.
Military service for the glory of the Fatherland has always been revered in our country. Russia has confronted external threats and violations of its independence more than once. Our soldiers, sailors, and officers bravely defended the country and were victorious not only thanks to their training and the might of their weapons but also their strength of spirit and great love for their homeland.
Patriotism is etched in our people’s character. And we know the heroic heights it elevates people to when the homeland is imperilled. Saving the Fatherland, being prepared to throw yourself on a fellow soldier, protecting those dear to you – this is always stronger than even the most difficult ordeals.
Recently we marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad which fully revealed the victorious unity of the army and the people, whereas the warriors’ feat, the battle itself, which determined the course of the war, has been immortalised in world history as much as the other great battles of the Great Patriotic entered in the chronicles of the military glory of our country.
And the warmest words are reserved for our veterans today.
Russia’s modern Armed Forces honour your covenants, understand and respect the high calling of military service, acquire experience during strategic and tactical exercises, and become battle-hardened in operations against terrorists and their formations.
I would like to thank again all those who took part and are taking part in combat activities on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. Our troops have excellent training. They are performing with dignity their duty, fighting with determination, fearlessly, to the end.
Comrade officers, the developments of the past years show that we are in the top tier in the world in terms of combat readiness, and the quality of armaments and military equipment. Today we can say with full confidence that Russia’s security is guaranteed.
We will continue this work without fail. All the components of the country’s defence capacity will be bolstered. We will further strengthen the capabilities and resources of the strategic nuclear detergent, and ensure the efficient development of special and general-purpose units and formations.
In all this, we rely on the capabilities of our defence industry complex, its best enterprises, the achievements of research and design centres. They have already proved their competence and global competitiveness.
The officer corps has a special role in developing and strengthening the Russian Armed Forces. Their professionalism, ability to effectively operate cutting-edge equipment, and in-depth knowledge of the science of warfare – this is the foundation for successfully meeting challenges of a new order.
And of course, an officer should be, as ever, a real mentor, a demanding but attentive “father” and commander. He should provide his subordinates with an example of honest, responsible service, allegiance to the traditions created by generations of the country’s officer corps. I am confident that this will continue to be the case.
Let me once again congratulate you on Defender of the Fatherland Day. I wish you and your families success, health and wellbeing.