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Reception in honour of graduates of military academies

June 28, 2016, The Kremlin, Moscow

A reception in honour of graduates of military academies, institutes and universities run by the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, Interior Ministry, Emergency Situations Ministry, Federal Security Service and Federal Guards Service was hosted at the Grand Kremlin Palace. Distinguished graduates of academies under the responsibility of the Federal National Guard attended the reception for the first time.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,

Welcome to the Kremlin reception in honour of the best graduates of military academies.

This tradition has deep roots in our country. At all times, ceremonies for those joining the military service were a special event calling on the importance of their work, underlining the invisible ties and continuity between the many generations of defenders of our Motherland. I am certain that we have representatives of many military dynasties here in this room, those who carry on the work their fathers and grandfathers had started.

I would like to congratulate you all on the completion of a very important stage in your life, in your destiny, your military career. Congratulations on the end of your training, and congratulations to lieutenants on the assignment of the first rank.

From time immemorial, Russian officers chose the military career from their heart, by vocation, and served their country professionally, giving it their all. Their highest moral values were honour and love for their Motherland and their people.

It is these qualities and their military talent that helped our army at all times to rout the enemy. So it was during the Great Patriotic War, and so it continues today when we are fighting international terrorism.

I am confident that you are all worthy to bear the high rank of an officer, that you will preserve and enhance the glorious traditions of the Russian military, and will perform your professional duties with responsibility, initiative, and full dedication.

From time immemorial, Russian officers chose the military career from their heart, by vocation, and served their country professionally, giving it their all.

Comrade officers, today we are working on a large number of nationwide issues, but our absolute priority is strengthening our Armed Forces.

Modern, mobile and well equipped Army and Navy are a guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty and independence and the security of Russian citizens and a powerful tool against any attempt at provocation, blackmail or pressure. I have no doubt that you are fully aware of this.

Our strategy of modernising and improving our Armed Forces remains unchanged. The correctness of this strategy and the effectiveness of its implementation have been reliably confirmed by the Syrian operations of our Aerospace Forces and Navy.

We will continue to streamline the structure and strength of the Army and Navy and further improve the system of military command and the coordination of our military units, as well as our interaction with our allies.

We will continue to supply the latest weapons and equipment to our Armed Forces, as is set out in the State Defence Procurement Programme for 2018–2025, which we are currently drafting. Moreover, the focus will be on cutting-edge precision weapons, equipment and communications systems.

I would like to say that the intensity of military exercises has visibly increased over the past few years. In the past six weeks, we held three unplanned military exercises that involved all our military districts.

All of us know that the combat ability of the Army and Navy depends on the quality of professional training, the ability of our military to act effectively, using modern weapons and equipment, which is impossible without officers who can command troops competently, skilfully and proactively.

You have accumulated a wealth of theoretical and practical experience at our military academies, and we hope that you will now stand at the forefront of the officers’ corps, your activity, workability and courage setting an example of an honest and loyal service to our homeland.

Comrades, in accordance with tradition officers who are about to take up service in law enforcement bodies and special services are present in this room.

In recent years, there have been positive results in a number of areas, but it is important to keep moving forward by cutting the ground from under the feet of terrorists and extremists, and being assertive in fighting crime and corruption. It is your direct responsibility to ensure the rule of law, constitutional and public order, as well as to protect the rights of our people.

We remain committed to doing everything it takes to enhance the prestige and status of the military. Primarily, we will continue to develop the system of social guarantees that has undergone significant improvements in recent years.

I would like to note that despite economic challenges military personnel are provided with permanent housing on a regular, planned basis. Only in 2016, keys to new flats were handed out to 12,500 people.

The savings and mortgage system is becoming increasingly popular among military personnel with 14,500 people who have already benefited from housing subsidies. Compensations for rented accommodation more than tripled. The amount of service housing is also growing, although not as fast as we would like.

Today we are working on a large number of nationwide issues, but our absolute priority is strengthening our Armed Forces.

We are also seeing positive changes in other areas, for example, in healthcare services for military personnel and their families. We will continue this work.

Friends, you will soon begin performing your duties. You will tackle the demanding and responsible tasks of enhancing Russia’s defence capability and protecting its national interests. I am confident that the officers’ corps will always protect our Motherland.

Allow me to congratulate you, once again, on the completion of your training, to wish you success, good health and good luck – to all the 2016 graduates, to your families and your loved ones.

I propose a toast to our brave officers, to the glorious Armed Forces of Russia, for our Motherland! Hurrah!

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

Today we honour the best graduates of military academies. Gold medallists, scholarship winners, top students – you all have earned the right to represent your universities at the Moscow Kremlin today.

The reception hosted here in the heart of the capital is a sign of special respect of the country's leadership who make every effort to make military service honourable and prestigious. At all times, Russian officers were the core of the Army and Navy, the stronghold of patriotism, the keepers of our glorious military traditions. They have always been known for their honour and courage that inspired faithful service to Russia. I am confident that you will magnify the glory of the Russian military and will firmly defend our national interests.

Dear graduates, you will soon enter your service in different parts of the country, from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka, from the Arctic to Crimea. I am sure that the strong knowledge acquired over years of training will help you meet the challenges and improve the combat capability of the Army and Navy.

I congratulate you on this remarkable day; I wish you success in your every endeavour in your difficult but very important and necessary service. I propose a toast to our great country, its valiant Armed Forces, and the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, Supreme Commander-in-Chief!


June 28, 2016, The Kremlin, Moscow