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Opening Defence Ministry COVID-19 medical centres

June 30, 2020, The Kremlin, Moscow

A videoconference was held to mark the opening of the Defence Ministry’s medical centres for coronavirus patients in Daghestan, the Voronezh and Penza regions.

Modern medical facilities with all the necessary equipment and technology have been built in Kaspiysk, Derbent, Botayurt, Voronezh and Penza. Four of the five centres will be transferred to the regions at the requests of the Head of Daghestan and the Voronezh Region Governor.

The videoconference was attended by the Head of Daghestan, the Governors of the Voronezh and Penza Regions, representatives of the medical centres built in these regions, as well as by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Head of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) and Chief Sanitary Doctor Anna Popova.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon,

Today we are holding an important and pleasant event: five new medical centres built by the Defence Ministry are opening in Voronezh, Penza, Kaspiysk, Derbent and Botayurt. These advanced medical facilities have all the necessary equipment to treat people facing this dangerous disease, the coronavirus infection.

And, of course, they must strengthen the potential of the regional healthcare systems in the long term. In this context, I would like to note that four of the five centres I listed were built at the request of the heads of Daghestan and the Voronezh Region and, as we agreed, will be transferred to these regions.

The necessary brigades of military and civil builders, resources and equipment were quickly sent there during the most difficult first stage of the pandemic and everything needed was done to quickly increase the number of specialised beds in the Russian regions with the most severe conditions.

Let me remind you that on May 15, two months after the pandemic broke out, 16 Defence Ministry medical centres for patients with the coronavirus opened. Let me reiterate: they were built over an unprecedentedly short time and with high quality. Over 2,000 highly skilled specialists were trained to work in these facilities.

In the first six weeks of operations, these medical institutions have proven that they were needed. Over 4,500 patients were treated and over 25,000 tests were carried out. Moreover, four other mobile hospitals were quickly deployed in Daghestan and the Krasnoyarsk and the Trans-Baikal Territories.

I am sure that the centres we are opening today will be as effective and make their contribution to combatting the virus, while we will continue to combat it persistently and substantially; we will do everything to protect the lives and safety of our people.

The situation we are facing has shown that the Russian healthcare system, as Russia in general, is capable of quickly responding to the most difficult challenges. In a very short time, necessary resources were allocated and additional specialised beds deployed. Let me stress that the entire mechanism to immediately respond to the spread of the virus and aid the regions was well-honed, and it must always remain on high alert.

During the pandemic, both military and civilian medical workers have helped their regional colleagues and worked as part of the field teams.

Over 18,500 experts from the Defence Ministry’s military medical service have been part of combatting the virus, and all of them have acted professionally and even selflessly whenever required. They did everything necessary to prevent the spread of the virus in the army and the navy and helped military personnel and their families, the retired service personnel and recruits.

In recent weeks, the focus has been on the health of the personnel who took part in the parade, or, to be exact, the parades to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory. All of Russia was looking forward to them, and they took place in Moscow, St Petersburg, Sevastopol, Vladikavkaz, Kaliningrad and 23 other Russian cities. A total of 58,000 people took part, and their safety was ensured.

The current generation of military medical workers worthily continues the work of their predecessors.

I would like to once again thank the military doctors and all medical workers of the Defence Ministry as well as everyone involved in the construction of the new medical centres for their hard work, bravery and composure during their fight against this pandemic.

I give the floor to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. Go ahewad, please.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Thank you, Mr President.

Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief, under your instructions, the Defence Ministry has built four multi-purpose medical centres with a total capacity of 400 beds in Voronezh, as well as in cities of the Republic of Daghestan: Kaspiysk, Derbent and Khasavyurt. These centres include modern medical equipment and are ready to receive their first patients.

At the request of the republic’s executives, doctors from Daghestan underwent additional training at the Kirov Military Medical Academy.

I would like to note that the centres that have been operating for about three months have fully proved their relevance and effectiveness. Over 4,500 patients have been treated, including over 3,000 civilians. Some 25,000 different diagnoses have been carried out.

Four mobile multi-purpose hospitals have been deployed for prompt medical help for infected patients. Let me recall that under your instructions a hospital was set up on May 19 in the town of Yeruda in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, on May 23 another one was established in Buinaksk, a third was built in Botlikh on May 25 in the Republic of Daghestan, and the fourth one was put up in Chita in the Trans-Baikal Territory on June 7. Over 600 people have undergone medical treatment and more than 1,500 tests have been conducted at these facilities.

In addition, the ministry has completed the construction of an infectious disease medical centre, which is part of the military hospital in Penza. They can provide medical aid for COVID-19 patients and conduct comprehensive diagnostics.

We continue working with the Gamaleya Institute on developing a vaccine against the coronavirus infection. Since June 18 a vaccine has been tested on 38 volunteers in the Burdenko Military Clinical Hospital. Testing will be completed before the end of July.

I would like to add that in line with your instructions last week, we have started working in Pskov. Two hospitals will be built: one in Pskov with 200 beds and another one in Velikiye Luki with 100 beds. Currently concrete pouring for the foundations is underway. Considering the large amount of work, we hope to complete the construction of these hospitals by September 15.

Thank you, Mr President.

My report is over.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.


Vladimir Putin: I would like to express my gratitude to military builders, medical workers, to all those who organised this work and completed it in the shortest possible time and, as the participants in today’s meeting have said, at a high level of quality. I hope that in the future we will also be able to resolve new, including unexpected large-scale tasks, as rapidly and competently as in this case of countering the coronavirus infection.

I wish everyone all the best. Thank you once again.


June 30, 2020, The Kremlin, Moscow