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Speech at a ceremony presenting the Suvorov Medal to the Ryazan General Margelov Higher Airborne Command Academy

November 15, 2013, Ryazan

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon comrades,

Comrade officers, students, sergeants, soldiers, and veterans, I congratulate you on the Academy’s 95th anniversary and on the presentation of the Suvorov Medal. 

Military academies have always been a sacred concept for every Russian officer. It is here that people learn to become military professionals, uphold their uniform’s honour, and remain loyal to their oath and to the unwritten laws of military comradeship.

Your Academy fully lives up to this lofty mission. It has produced more than 48,000 officers over its years of work. They fought with courage on the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War, at the most difficult sections of the front, at the forefront of the main offensives.

Our paratrooper officers flawlessly carried out their missions in the post-war years too, and performed their military duties with honour in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and other hot spots. I particularly note that the Academy counts 53 Heroes of the Soviet Union and 74 Heroes of the Russian Federation among its graduates. Each of them is the pride of your Academy and the pride of the Russian Armed Forces and the entire country.

Today, the Academy continues to train officers and offers every opportunity for receiving a quality education. This is above all thanks to its strong teaching staff. The Academy’s graduates find work in the security and law enforcement agencies. Foreign military servicemen are also training with successful results at the Academy.

We will continue our systemic efforts to modernise our Armed Forces. Developing military education is unquestionably one of the top priorities in this area. We must make maximum use of our military academies’ potential. It is for this reason that we will modernise and update military academies’ programmes and infrastructure, and improve their material and technical provision, in line with the Armed Forces’ changing needs and demands.

Our main goal is to build up modern, well-equipped and effective Armed Forces, raise the prestige of being an officer, and ensure decent living and working conditions for our country’s defenders. We will achieve these objectives. 

Comrades, you work and serve in one of Russia’s most legendary military academies. I am sure that you will be worthy of its name and continue the Russian officer corps’ glorious traditions.

Once more, I congratulate you on the Academy’s anniversary and on this high award.

I wish you success in your work and service, and I wish you health and all the best to you and your families. Congratulations!

November 15, 2013, Ryazan