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Trip to Ulyanovsk Region

August 1, 2012, Ulyanovsk

Vladimir Putin visited the 31st Paratroopers Brigade stationed near Ulyanovsk on the eve of the Paratroopers Day.

The President laid flowers at a monument to paratroopers killed in the performance of their duty.

Mr Putin then addressed the servicemen and saw a demonstration of their combat training.

The President also met with current and veteran servicemen and cadets of the Suvorov Academy located in Ulyanovsk.

* * *

Address to servicemen of the 31st Guards Paratroopers Brigade

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, paratroopers.

Today, as we are about to celebrate Paratroopers Day, I congratulate all the servicemen and veterans on tomorrow’s holiday, thank you for your excellent service, and wish all of you success.

The paratroopers are Russia’s pride. They have always been the best of the best, ready to accomplish any, even seemingly impossible missions. The paratroopers embody our Armed Forces’ strongest traditions, honour, and comradeship. Gathered in a single fist are their strength and speed, decisiveness in taking the offensive, high mobility, and permanent combat readiness. 

For more than 80 years now the paratroopers have been carrying out the most dangerous and difficult missions, and have always done so to the highest level, as one expects from their undying and legendary motto – “No one but us!” This was the case at the battle of Khalkin Gol, in the battles of the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945), in Afghanistan and other conflict zones. The paratroopers were always there, where the going was rough, and they always came through, displaying not just their professionalism, but their unequalled courage. This is why the paratrooper units deservedly bear the title of ‘guards’ – as a mark of their flawless professionalism and highest possible martial spirit. 

The 31st Guards Paratroopers Brigade, in which you serve, and the other paratrooper units form the backbone of Russia’s rapid reaction forces. You are always at your posts and always fully ready for combat.

I stress today that the state will continue to develop and strengthen the paratroopers, raise their capacities and provide the units and divisions with modern new equipment, communications, reconnaissance and command systems, and state-of-the-art aviation systems.

Russia needs a strong and modern army that can effectively guarantee our national security and ensure that we fulfil our obligations to our allies.

Your brigade and all of the paratroopers have proven your strength and skill on more than one occasion. I am sure that you will continue to serve just as reliably and continue your dedicated defence of our citizens’ peace and tranquillity and our homeland’s freedom and sovereignty.

Once more, I congratulate you on Paratroopers Day and I wish you health and success and all the best to you and your families.

Serve Russia with honour and always hold the paratroopers’ flag high!

August 1, 2012, Ulyanovsk