In all, 800 of the best graduates of higher educational institutions affiliated with the Defence Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service, the Federal Guard Service, the Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief, the National Guard and the Federal Penitentiary Service were invited to the reception.
Apart from Russian service personnel, foreign military personnel – graduates of the Russian Defence Ministry’s higher educational institutions also attended the reception.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,
As usual, today’s reception in honour of graduates of higher military education institutions is taking place in the Kremlin and in three halls of the Grand Kremlin Palace, namely, the St Andrew, St Alexander and St George halls.
Each of them underscores the continuity of our Fatherland’s traditions, the unbreakable spiritual and historical bond between the heroes of bygone eras and the current generation of Russian soldiers.
These great traditions were created by the special guards of Novgorod and Kiev Princes Svyatoslav and Vladimir, by the warriors of Alexander Nevsky and Dmitry Donskoi, by the regiments and naval crews of Suvorov and Kutuzov, Nakhimov and Ushakov, by the soldiers of WWI and the Great Patriotic War and by our contemporaries who fought and won in Afghanistan, who fought international terrorists in the North Caucasus and who defeated them in Syria.
Veterans preserve these sacred behests, and your peers now serving Russia have proved their loyalty to these behests through their deeds and on the battlefields.
Your successful military training and your efforts to master military science also show that you strive to take after the best and to be worthy of the high rank of defenders of the Fatherland.
Years of intensive studies are now history. I am confident that you comprehend and feel the entire significance of this stage, that you will be able to fully apply your knowledge during military service, and that you will certainly continue to improve your professional level.
As General Brusilov used to say, those who have calmed down and are sitting idle after graduating from any academy will quickly fall behind their times and their work.
Therefore, my wish is that you continue to move confidently full speed ahead, and that you justify the trust of your superiors and commanders, your teachers and instructors and the entire Russian nation.
To a great extent the effectiveness of our efforts to strengthen the country’s defence capabilities and develop the Armed Forces, law enforcement and special services rely on the officers’ corps. This is primarily about carrying out the large-scale programme to reequip the Army and Navy with the latest weapons.
The Kinzhal hypersonic missile system, the Peresvet laser system, the Sarmat heavy ICBM, the Poseidon underwater drone, our unlimited range cruise missile with its Burevestnik nuclear propulsion system and other state-of-the-art hardware will be supplied to the troops in the next few years.
Talent, boldness and courage, relentless work by hundreds of workers, engineers and designers are embodied in these weapons, and they must be in reliable and skillful hands. Your duty is to learn to use these weapons properly.
Graduates of the Defence Ministry education institutes are here along with students from the academies that train personnel for the Ministry of the Interior, Federal Security Service, Federal National Guard Service, Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief, Federal Penitentiary Service, and the Federal Guard Service.
You are in one formation, together you provide for Russia’s security, you work in such key areas as fighting terrorism, crime and corruption, upholding law and order and disaster relief, and you are responsible for many other extremely critical sectors.
I expect you to firmly guard government interests, the rights and freedoms of our citizens, observe the Russian Constitution and other laws and respect officer’s honour.
I want to emphasize, we will further improve the system of social guarantees for those who are serving in the armed forces or law enforcement bodies and successively raise the level of service pay.
As you know, the general indexing of service pay and military pensions has been planned and will be carried out starting 1 October.
We will improve medical services for personnel, increase opportunities for employing family members and help resolve housing issues.
Since 2012, about 645,000 service personnel have been provided with permanent housing and officers’ housing. Over 2 million people have improved their housing conditions, which includes families.
In conclusion, I would like to congratulate you again on your graduation. I wish you health and success in your service. My warmest and kindest wishes to your parents, families and close ones.
I propose a toast to our officers, to the continuation of our Fatherland’s glorious military traditions and to great Russia!