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Official website of the President of Russia

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Acting President Vladimir Putin sent a message to paratroopers going to Bosnia and Herzegovina to act as peacekeepers

January 27, 2000

In particular, the message reads:

”Russian peacekeepers, sharing the same goal as servicemen from other countries, are helping to restore peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

”To be a peacekeeper in the new 21st century is a great mission and a high honour. But for Russian soldiers, “peacekeeper” is also a special name. Our soldiers have never been aggressors and have always acted as guardians of peace. Our forefathers fought in the Balkans to liberate our brother nations from a foreign yoke, and our grandfathers and fathers waged war against Nazism there. You will be serving in a region which has a long tradition of respect for the Russian soldier.

”The flames of inter-ethnic conflict have been put out, but the deep wounds inflicted by the war and the hostilities have not yet healed. I am sure your efforts will be of great help to the noble mission of ensuring peace on long-suffering Balkan soil.

”I am proud of you and wish you luck.“

January 27, 2000