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Acting President Vladimir Putin took part in a farewell ceremony for an airborne regiment leaving Chechnya

March 20, 2000, Khankala

“You have fulfilled a merited task in Chechnya as you did not come here as conquerors but to meet a challenge to Russia”, the Acting President said at the farewell ceremony for the 331st Airborne Regiment of the 98th Airborne Division. The ceremony was held at the military base of the United Group of Federal Forces in Khankala.

Russia and the Russian Government will never abandon the families of the perished heroes who fought for the interests of the nation in the North Caucasus, Mr Putin emphasised.

The airborne regiment was the first airborne unit withdrawn from Chechnya to return to its permanent location in Kostroma after six months in the North Caucasus.

The Acting President said that Regiment Commander Nikolai Mayorov and Lieutenant Roman Shchetnev, reconnaissance platoon head, were awarded the title of the Hero of Russia for their courage and heroism.

March 20, 2000, Khankala