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Meeting with top graduates of higher military schools

June 21, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin met with top graduates of military universities and academies of the Defence Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry, the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Federal Guard Service (FSO), the Federal Service of National Guard Troops, the Interior Ministry, the Investigative Committee and the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Grand Kremlin Palace’s St George Hall.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades officers, friends,

Greetings and congratulations on your successful graduation.

We traditionally celebrate the top graduates of military academies, universities and special education institutions in St George Hall of the Moscow Kremlin, where everything reminds us of the heroism and combat glory of many generations of defenders of the Fatherland.

For as long as we can remember, our officers have chosen military professions of their own free will, being guided by their heart, serving our Motherland faithfully and loyally, with honour, love of their country and a feeling of responsibility for its future being their moral foundation.

It is these qualities, as well as the talents of our outstanding military leaders, the courage and tenacity of our soldiers and their commanders, the unity of the nation, that have always been the decisive force in the battles that determined the future of our Fatherland and the world as a whole.

We will celebrate an important date in our history soon, the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Kursk. During that battle on the Fire Arc, our men defeated and smashed elite enemy units, demonstrated unparalleled heroism and valour, and paved the way to long-awaited Victory.

Today, the descendants of the generation of the Great Patriotic War heroes are proving their loyalty to the Fatherland and the people in practice, fighting perseveringly for the Fatherland, for truth and justice.

During the special military operation, the soldiers and officers of the Russian Armed Forces are protecting our people, Russia’s territorial integrity and its right to sovereign development, as well as the historical choice the people in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions made in 2022 and the people in Crimea and Sevastopol in 2014.

The whole of Russia and our multi-ethnic people support our brave warriors and are proud of the sons and daughters of our Fatherland.


Strengthening and developing the army, reliably ensuring national security was and still is our absolute priority.

We will continue to improve the Armed Forces in a comprehensive way with account taken for the new challenges, and, of course, the invaluable experience of the special military operation.

A crucial task in this regard is to develop the nuclear triad, the key guarantee of Russia’s military security and global stability. Nearly half of the units and formations of the Strategic Missile Forces have been equipped with the latest Yars systems, forces are being converted to advanced missile systems with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle. The first Sarmat launcher systems with a new heavy missile will enter combat duty shortly.

The arsenals of the air and naval components of the Strategic Nuclear Forces are being stocked in strict conformity with our plans. For example, the master submarine of the new Borei-A project has joined the Navy. In January 2023, the Admiral Gorshkov frigate [full name – Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov], was put on combat duty. It is intended for open-ocean missions and is armed with cutting-edge Tsirkon hypersonic missiles.

Russian nuclear triad armaments make it possible to ensure strategic deterrence in an effective and guaranteed manner and maintain the global balance of forces. This is the result of a huge, years-long effort on the part of our industrial plants, design bureaus, technicians and engineers, military and civilian specialists.

Advanced armoured models, missile and air strike systems, air defence and EW systems are making a big contribution to the performance of combat missions as part of the special military operation. Their production and improvement will certainly be continued.

There is still a lot to do for the qualitative enhancement of the potential of all Armed Forces components. We will implement these plans in full based on our own scientific, technological, production and personnel potential as well as on the growing capabilities of the Russian defence industry and Russian hi-tech businesses.

We will continue to improve and produce counter-battery warfare systems, and we will go on providing forces with drones and autonomous strike systems that have proven themselves in combat. We will step up their production. It is necessary to supply this equipment to all levels of our forces, including units, platoons, companies and battalions.

I would like to emphasise that our army and navy must both continue to develop and also to fulfil combat tasks. This places special responsibility on the officer corps.

Very soon, you will assume command of miliary units and army management offices. You will have to take on huge responsibility. You will need to act with complete dedication, energy, integrity, persistence, courage, resolve and readiness to lead your comrades-in-arms.

It should be remembered that to gain respect in military units you must not only demonstrate your leadership qualities, but also lead by example and take care of your subordinates. The prestige of officers is unthinkable without that.

The integrity, cohesion, unity of will of our service personnel and their ability to win are based on the persistent and relentless work of commanders with every soldier and sailor. It is especially important under combat conditions. I am confident that all of you are aware of this and that your performance will reaffirm the wisdom of the great Suvorov, who said: The life and valour of an officer are his victories.


I would like to greet the young officers who have been appointed to the units of the FSB, the Interior Ministry, the Federal Service of National Guard Troops, the Emergencies Ministry, the Federal Guard Service, the Investigative Committee and the Federal Penitentiary Service.

It is your duty to protect the law, constitutional and public order, the rights and interests of our people, to combat terrorism, extremism, crime and corruption, and, of course, to help attain the goals of the special military operation.

Today, investigators, police and special services officers are working to expose and stop the crimes committed by neo-Nazis and death squad members, to restore law and order in the new regions of Russia.

I have no doubt that you, just as the personnel of the Armed Forces, will be working in your areas of competence to fulfil your tasks and that you will always remain worthy of the title of Russian officers.

Once again, congratulations on your graduation. I would like to wish health, every success in military service and well-being to all the 2023 graduates, all the best for your teachers and mentors, and, of course, best wishes to your near and dear ones.

Russia is proud of you. Russia pins its hopes on you.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief,

Today, we are honouring top graduates of our military educational institutions who willingly chose to serve the Fatherland as their calling in life.

Comrade officers,

You have completed your training at an extremely crucial time in the country’s history when the destiny of our Motherland is being decided, and when its geopolitical future is being determined. The collective West has unleashed a real war against Russia, and they are trying once again to break us. They have introduced endless sanctions, provoked unrest and conflicts in neighbouring states and provided tremendous military assistance to the Kiev regime.

You are beginning your military service in these tough conditions, and you will have to display top-level professionalism, maximum dedication, the ability to make unconventional decisions and to assume responsibility.

You have been entrusted with training and educating service personnel. Be ready to introduce the experience of the special military operation into combat training programmes. Be extremely attentive towards your subordinates and take care of them. Always remember that you are officers, and it is your duty to lead the way at all times.

Always uphold the honour and good reputation of your educational institutions. The country’s leadership can rest assured that our Armed Forces will do everything possible for ensuring the country’s military security and sovereignty.

I congratulate you on completing an important stage in your life, on graduating from our military universities and academies. I also congratulate the lieutenants on receiving their first officer rank.

I wish all of you good health and every success in your professional activities.

Alexander Tokarev: Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation Armed Forces,

Allow me, on behalf of all graduates of the military educational institutions, to express our gratitude to you for your personal words of encouragement for our military service to protect our Fatherland.

We are well aware of the complexity of the military and political situation and the current historical period. Like it was more than 80 years ago, Nazism has reared its head and is again trying to rule the world. We will not allow it. We will fight any adversary, we will show resilience, courage and heroism, loyalty to our people and readiness to defend our country’s national interests at the cost of our lives.

We have received solid knowledge of operational art and military strategy, a firm grasp of modern arms and military hardware at our military schools. We have been taught by teachers, many of whom have gained practical experience in the special military operation and present-day armed confrontation.

Allow me to express to you personally, Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief and Minister of Defence, our deep appreciation for the conditions created for teaching us the science of victory, and to our teachers and mentors for the invaluable knowledge and skills they have passed on to us.

Here, in the Kremlin’s St George Hall, the walls of which bear the names of our heroes, on behalf of all graduates, we assure you, Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation Armed Forces, that every one of us is prepared and will selflessly serve our country, honourably perform his military duty and uphold the interests of the state. We will justify your trust and the trust of the people of Russia, we will ensure the reliable defence of the Fatherland, we will continue the glorious history of our Fatherland and its Armed Forces.

Vladimir Putin: One of the graduates has just spoken about the courage and heroism of our soldiers and officers. We know from today's events and our country's history that our army, our soldiers and officers, that Russian fighters are famous for great courage, bravery, valour and heroism.

I congratulate you on your graduation. Godspeed!

June 21, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow