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Official website of the President of Russia

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Presentation of state decorations to military units and divisions of the Aerospace Forces

February 21, 2024, Moscow Region

The President presented state decorations to the military units and divisions of the Aerospace Forces at Chkalovsky airfield.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu welcomed the President and reported that the troops were ready for the ceremony.

The Order of Suvorov was presented to the 344th Combat Training and Flight Crew Transition Centre of the Defence Ministry. The Order of Zhukov was presented to the flight personnel of the 15th Army Aviation Brigade. The Order of Kutuzov was presented to the 487th Separate Helicopter Regiment.

Vladimir Putin also presented a copy of the Icon of Christ Not-Made-by-Hands to the High Command of the Aerospace Forces. The icon, which is respected as the patron of the Russian military, will be kept in the Church of Ascension at the Serpukhov Gate, the main church of the Aerospace Forces.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades,

We are meeting ahead of the Defender of the Fatherland Day, and first of all, I would like to congratulate you on this day, which long ago became a nationwide holiday.

I am happy to have this opportunity to present high state decorations to the military units and divisions of the Aerospace Forces. Their personnel, both privates and officers, acted bravely and courageously during the special military operation, making thousands of combat flights, demonstrating top skills and achieving their assigned objectives.

You have been fighting selflessly, proving your commitment to the oath and the best Russian military traditions. These traditions were forged over centuries by our great military leaders, privates and officers, the loyal sons and daughters of our Fatherland.

We are proud of their achievements and victories, and their names will always be associated with courage and the boundless respect of the Russian people for their army.

Training is an integral part of the “science of victory.” The Order of Suvorov has been awarded to the 344th Combat Training and Flight Crew Transition Centre of the Defence Ministry.

It has created a unique base for military professionals and conducts operational trials of advanced aviation equipment. A special helicopter group set up at the centre is working in the special military operation zone, and the centre’s tactical warfare studies have been used to expand the potential uses of the Aerospace Forces.

The Order of Zhukov has been awarded to the flight personnel of the 15th Army Aviation Brigade. Thanks to their heroic operation and faultless training, we achieved a breakthrough in the most complicated parts of the front.

The Order of Kutuzov has been awarded to the 487th Separate Helicopter Regiment. Its pilots demonstrated exceptional courage and professionalism, proving on numerous occasions their ability to act effectively in combat, achieve their objectives and quickly carry out search and rescue missions.


I would like to congratulate you once again on the upcoming professional day and on the presentation of the decorations you fully deserve. Thank you for your courage and your commitment to the homeland. I wish you further success and all the best to your families and loved ones.

Let us commence.

(The awards ceremony.)

Vladimir Putin: Friends,

Today we are presenting the Icon of Christ Not-Made-by-Hands to the High Command of the Aerospace Forces.

It is a copy of an icon that has an enormous historical value and a special spiritual significance. It has long been the patron of the Russian military and a bright symbol of our miliary victories, our traditions and our faith.

Let this icon continue to safeguard and protect our military personnel and strengthen their commitment to their service and their resolve to carry on the righteous struggle for the right cause, for our people and for our Russia.

We have great respect for our brothers of Russia’s other traditional religions. They are fighting side by side with us, and they are also with us spiritually.

I congratulate you on receiving this icon.

Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces Viktor Afzalov: Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,

Allow me to thank you for praising the achievements of military units of the Aerospace Forces and for presenting us with a copy of the Icon of Christ Not-Made-by-Hands. We will send this holy relic to all our military units and organisations, and we will keep it at the Main Cathedral of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief, allow me to assure you that the Aerospace Forces are ready to accomplish our objectives in defence of the Fatherland, in keeping with its motto: Success in the Air – Victory on the Ground.

I salute you!

February 21, 2024, Moscow Region