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Ceremony formalising the promotion of officers to senior command positions

December 27, 2011

The ceremony formalising the promotion of officers to higher command positions and presenting them with top military (special) ranks took place in the St George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Comrades generals and admirals,

I congratulate you on your promotion to new positions and the presentation of regular military and special ranks. Vital tasks such as the successful modernisation of the Russian Army and Navy, and strengthening law enforcement agencies and special services depend on you, representatives of the officer corps. Command staff is responsible for carrying out reforms. So it has always been, and so will it continue in the future.

I hope that you will use all of your knowledge, your experience and your new powers to fulfil these tasks, and will effectively provide security for the Russian state, ensuring stability in our society and its calm and steady development.

National defence is one of the key state policy priorities. In recent years, we have substantially modernised the Armed Forces, optimised the structure and size of the army and navy, improved the command system and strengthened the strategic nuclear deterrent force. On December 1, 2011 the new Aerospace Forces have become operational and in November an early warning radar station was deployed to monitor airspace in the westerly direction.

Army and Navy will face a number of challenges related to the facilitation of the national development strategy and military construction over the next 10 years. One of the most important goals is re-equipping the troops. Our key priority remains to supply the most advanced last generation weapons and equipment and continue the re-equipment of the Armed Forces. This task requires training experts and military personnel, which will be fully able to use this technology for its intended purposes. Therefore, it is vitally important to ensure the highest level of professional skills among cadets and young officers.

“I congratulate you on your promotion to new positions and the presentation of regular military and special ranks. Vital tasks such as the successful modernisation of the Russian Army and Navy. I hope that you will use all of your knowledge, your experience and your new powers to fulfil these tasks, and will effectively provide security for the Russian state.”

We continue to upgrade our weapons and military equipment. In that context I would like to note that despite the remaining problems in the space industry, we have nevertheless made a very important step recently: we have completed the series of flight tests of a modern complex naval strategic nuclear force. I am referring to the Bulava missiles. This test cycle was not easy and encountered certain problems.

Still, our industry has proven that it can create new modern and highly efficient types of strategic weapons. One of them is the Bulava missile, and now that the tests have been completed, it will be put into service.

This year the Interior Ministry has launched a major modernisation reform, the police force has been established and its personnel underwent an unscheduled performance review, new personnel selection mechanisms have been introduced to make a qualitative change in law enforcement agencies, to make more effective our struggle against extremism, common crime and corruption, to reliably protect the rights and lawful freedoms of our citizens, and to maintain order in the broadest sense, in everyday life and at the time of complex political events, including elections. Overall, the Interior Ministry troops are exercising their powers to maintain public order, and here it is necessary to prevent any provocations aimed at inciting ethnic and social hatred and to counter extremists’ attempts to destabilise the regions.

With the establishment of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the investigative authorities have become more diverse and have obtained a new dimension. I hope that your efforts will be focused on improving the evidence base, solving the most serious crimes and fighting crime in the broadest sense of the word.

The Federal Security Service makes a great contribution to securing national interests. I expect new achievements from you in the fight against terrorism and intensifying efforts to protect our economy. Other relevant tasks include fighting corruption, neutralising the activities of foreign intelligence services, as well as guaranteeing the security of our border, which has been upgraded in recent years.

The international situation is rapidly evolving, and political and social instability in a number of major states reinforce the importance of the Foreign Intelligence Service. The Service’s operational and analytical capacity are high; therefore, we must respond to changes in the international situation, conducting a thorough analysis of the most important external threats for our country.

I would like to extend special greetings to Emergency Ministry officers. Why? Because they are celebrating their professional holiday today. I warmly congratulate the staff and everyone who serves in the Ministry of Emergency Situations and Disaster Relief. Russian rescuers are true professionals in performing their duties. The priorities of Russian rescuers include quality control over the operation of strategically important and complex facilities, and the quality of public events. In the near future we will work on creating voluntary fire brigades, which is especially important for remote communities, which can be very difficult for regular firefighters to reach. Once again I would like to congratulate the Emergency Ministry staff on their holiday.

Other specialised agencies conduct highly valuable work for the state, including the Federal Guard Service, the Special Facilities Service, the Federal Penitentiary Service and drug control agencies. I am confident that you will continue to work promptly and effectively, preventing criminal activity using modern standards, ensuring the security of the most important facilities and senior government officials.

Comrades and colleagues,

I would like to sincerely congratulate all of you on today's event. This is always a very memorable event and a memorable day for any officer. Happy New Year to all of you, your subordinates and your families.

I wish you success in your service and hope that you will continue to perform your duties with utmost professionalism.


Comrades officers, once again I congratulate all of you and I hope that your efforts will help the units and agencies you lead to become more efficient and professional in performing their duties.

I wish you success and happiness in everything.

December 27, 2011