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Official website of the President of Russia

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Speech before the servicemen of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division 104th Guards Air Assault Regiment

March 1, 2013, Pskov

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, sergeants and soldiers,

Today is a sorrow-filled and difficult day, but also a day of commemoration. We are here to pay our respect and honour the feats of the paratroopers from the heroic 6th Company. Their names are forever engraved on our Armed Forces’ service lists and in Russia’s military history. We will never forget their courage.

They took on their final battle in a spirit worthy of the paratroopers’ name. They were 90 in all, and 84 of them gave their lives defending their homeland’s interests.

The 6th Company made a heroic contribution to fighting and vanquishing the new total threat of aggressive international terrorism. The 6th Company’s soldiers were true and fearless Russian patriots. Their spirit remains here with us on this parade ground today.

Your celebrated regiment has been part of the battle ranks for 65 years now and has traced a truly legendary road over this time. The paratroopers are always there where the going is roughest. This has always been the case and I am sure it always will be so.

The paratroopers are the backbone of Russia’s rapid reaction forces. This demands from you above all the highest standard of professionalism, training and permanent combat readiness. Like the immortal 6th Company, you are always ‘on the front line’.

Friends, our people love you, are proud of you, and place their hopes in you. Guards, thank you for your service!

March 1, 2013, Pskov