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Presentation of officers appointed to senior command posts

April 21, 2016, The Kremlin, Moscow

In a ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace’s St George Hall, Vladimir Putin congratulated military and security officers and personnel of the Prosecutor General’s Office on their new appointments to senior command posts and conferment of senior (special) ranks and titles.

The President outlined the priority tasks for the armed forces and security forces today and congratulated the officers on their new appointments.

* * * 

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers,

I welcome you all at the Kremlin, at St George Hall, the hall of Russia’s martial glory, and I congratulate you on your new appointments, ranks and special titles. You earned these appointments and ranks through your hard work, professionalism, and dedication to duty. I am sure that in your new capacities, you will continue to work just as effectively and serve this country with just as much honour and conscience. 

Our officers’ corps has always been the stronghold and guarantee of Russia’s statehood. Today, our officers perform their duties with honour and brilliance. The military operation our Armed Forces conducted in Syria is a fine example. In just a short time, our combined forces group brought about a turnaround in the situation and provided powerful support to the legitimate government.

We have also carried out a most important domestic task by combatting terrorist fighters who came from Russia and the CIS countries. Thanks to our Aerospace Forces, the Syrian army has seized the strategic initiative and the terrorist groups have suffered heavy losses.

We will continue to strengthen our Armed Forces and to do everything necessary to give them the modern arms and equipment they need and to carry out the tasks set out in our new National Security Strategy.

Your direct duty as commanders is to raise the quality of performance in training and combat missions, work through tactical issues, develop operations skills and strategy through exercises and snap inspections, and teach the service personnel full mastery of the latest arms and equipment.

The Federal Security Service has a broad range of responsibilities. The Service’s systematic work has reduced the terrorist threat of late.

The Service’s counterintelligence operations have put an end to the activities of 80 intelligence officers from foreign intelligence services operating here in Russia, and identified more than 350 of their agents and individuals suspected of being involved in unlawful activity. You must continue to work competently and consistently in these areas.

It is also important to act resolutely to prevent corruption in state bodies of power and stop embezzlement and misappropriation of budget funds, especially in the execution of state defence procurement contracts.

The FSB Border Guard Service also has great responsibilities. Last year, the Service detained more than 3,300 people for border violations. More than 2,800 criminal cases were opened in connection with illegal border crossing. We need to develop the Service’s analytical potential, modernise its equipment, and create an insurmountable barrier to smuggling, illegal migration, and cross-border crime.

The Foreign Intelligence Service’s competent work also plays a big part in ensuring the nation’s security. Timely information on potential external threats and forecasts on developments in the international situation in unstable parts of the world are vital for taking strategic state decisions.

Officers, our people expect greater results from the law enforcement agencies, including the Interior Ministry. You must raise the crime detection rate, resolutely combat crime and corruption, and improve preventive work. These issues were at the centre of attention at the Interior Ministry Board review meeting in mid-March.

Recently, the migration service and drug control agency were transferred to the Interior Ministry. I hope that you will develop efficient and well-coordinated work in these important areas as well.

A new executive body, the Federal National Guard Service, was established in early April, on the basis of the Interior Ministry. Its main function is oversight of trade in arms. It will also work closely with the Interior Ministry and the FSB to combat terrorism and organised crime.

Of course, we still have a lot of legislative, organisational and personnel work to do to put in place this new federal service. I am sure that the experience and professionalism of the National Guard personnel will help to resolve effectively the tasks facing this new security agency.

The Prosecutor General’s Office plays an important part in upholding the law. Its personnel ought to concentrate on overseeing the enforcement of people’s social rights, preventing things like delayed wages and pensions and other violations of citizens’ social rights.

Let me remind you that the prosecutors also have a duty to protect the rights of entrepreneurs. It is important to shield businesses from administrative pressure, including by reducing the number of unjustified inspections.

The Investigative Committee personnel also need to improve the quality of their work. A scrupulously collected evidential base is crucial for solving crimes and ensuring fair punishment.

Russia’s rescue personnel work with good coordination and professionalism. They showed their high level of professionalism and personal courage during natural and manmade disaster relief operations and delivery of humanitarian aid, including to conflict zones.

An important task now is to raise the level of protection and security at public places and at social and industrial facilities. Particular attention has to be given to timely response to risks during the spring flood season.

The Federal Corrections Service should concentrate its work on introducing modern detention standards and reliable security at corrections facilities. I want to stress the point that people at corrections facilities have broken the law, true, but they are still our citizens and the law must protect them.

Officers, I am sure that you will work with honour and do everything necessary to ensure this country’s security. Let me congratulate you once more on these new appointments and senior ranks. I wish you success in your work.

Commander in Chief of the Russian Federation Navy Vladimir Korolyov: Comrade Commander in Chief of the Russian Federation Armed Forces,

On behalf of the officers here today, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the great confidence in the officer corps you have placed today, here at the Kremlin.

We fully realise our responsibility for ensuring this country’s defence and security, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity. This is the task of our mobile armed forces equipped with precision weapons, and manned with combat-ready professionals.

The Navy has a particular role to play in this work. In order to maintain a high level of combat readiness, we hold large-scale exercises in which everyone without exception takes part, from sailors to admirals.

This thorough work has resulted in what is an unprecedented build-up of our forces in recent history in the Arctic and the world oceans. We now have 100 or more naval ships and vessels at sea.

The entire world saw a convincing demonstration of the power of our Aerospace Forces, the Black Sea Fleet, and the Caspian Flotilla, which delivered crushing blows to ISIS and other terrorist groups. This was made possible through our intensive combat training and the quality modernisation that has taken place in our Armed Forces.

Over recent years, the Navy has commissioned and put on ongoing battle readiness the strategic nuclear submarines Vladimir Monomakh and Alexander Nevsky, the large submarines Novorossiisk, Rostov-on-Don and Stary Oskol, and the small missile-carrying ships Serpukhov and Zelyony Dol.

The Navy will soon commission the frigates Fleet Admiral of the Soviet Union Gorshkov, Admiral Grigorovich, and Admiral Essen, and the submarines Krasnodar, Veliky Novgorod, and Kolpino. The Navy is also set to receive three new atomic submarines, construction of which began in 2014.

I can say with certainty that the Navy has everything it needs for performing its military duties to the highest standards. The Navy is ready to carry out its missions.

Mr President, let me thank you for the support and attention the Armed Forces have received on issues such as raising combat readiness, modernising arms and equipment, and most importantly, constant care for the service personnel and their family members.

We are proud of our Armed Forces. I speak not just for my own thoughts and feelings here. These were also the proud words of the junior sergeant to whom you recently presented a state decoration. I can assure you that we will continue developing the glorious traditions of selfless service for the sake of our beloved homeland.

Thank you for your attention.

Head of the Interior Ministry Regional Office in Chelyabinsk Region Andrei Sergeyev: Comrade Commander in Chief,

On behalf of the Interior Ministry delegation, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the opportunity to take part in this ceremony. This is a great honour for each and every one of us.

From one year to the next, the police make great efforts to carry out successfully their difficult and multifaceted responsibilities for keeping the situation in our different regions under control and reliably protecting the state and public from criminal actions.

In the course of their work, the police show high professional, moral and psychological qualities, combat crime bravely and without compromise, and fight terrorist and extremist organisations that are acting with ever-greater ruthlessness. There can be no truce in this struggle, no retreat.

Mr President, we consider these new senior appointments and ranks as a sign of great trust on your part and there are no words that could adequately express our gratitude.

At the same time, we know that the real measure of the Interior Ministry’s performance is not words, but the security and peace of our tens of millions of ordinary people, who will ultimately give the real evaluation. We can win their respect and live up to your expectations only through dedicated, selfless and honest work. Let me assure you that we will put all our strength, knowledge and experience into this work, to which we have devoted many years now, and will wear our lofty title of law enforcement officers with honour.

Vladimir Putin: Officers,

Let me conclude this ceremony by saying that you have worked hard and achieved much over the past years, otherwise we would not be meeting here today. But in taking a step higher up the career ladder, you must all remember that there is even more work and even greater responsibilities ahead. I hope that you will continue to work with just as much dedication and professionalism and produce even greater results.

I wish you and your families success.

April 21, 2016, The Kremlin, Moscow