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Acting President and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met high-ranking officers after their promotion to new positions and ranks

February 21, 2000, Moscow

Mr Putin told high-ranking officers in the Grand Kremlin Palace that the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya would continue until it had accomplished its objective, namely, re-establishing control over all institutions in the Chechen Republic.

He stressed that the speed of the operation showed that the army had started believing in its potential and society had started believing in its army.

Mr Putin praised the efforts of high-ranking Defence Ministry and General Staff officers, including those from the Combined Army Group in the North Caucasus, the Emergency Situations Ministry, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information and officials from other agencies, in defeating illegal paramilitary units and restoring constitutional order in the Chechen Republic.

Mr Putin presented the epaulets of general of the army to Anatoly Kornukov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, and the epaulets of fleet admiral to Vladimir Kuroyedov.

February 21, 2000, Moscow