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Official website of the President of Russia

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Greetings on Defender of the Fatherland Day

February 23, 2024

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades, friends,

I congratulate veterans, active military and civilian personnel of the Armed Forces and all who have served in the military on Defender of the Fatherland Day.

This holiday is one of the most revered in Russia. It has been a national holiday for a long time already and is always celebrated widely throughout the country, in all communities and families, every city and village. And everyone understands the great significance of military service and has enormous respect for our military personnel, for everyone who stands by the Motherland and defends its interests, the security of its citizens, the sovereignty and independence of Russia.

We are proud of our army and navy – their unwavering, undaunted character forged in the heat of battle, their loyalty to the Russian military school, the legacy of great commanders, and the experience of many generations of Russian soldiers.

In Russia, defenders of the Fatherland enjoy the sincere love of the nation, and devotion to the Fatherland, the sacred duty to protect it and to defend every inch of our land have always been and remain our most important, incontrovertible values.

On this holiday, we pay our deepest respects to our heroic fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who crushed Nazism, we take out the military orders and medals, photographs and letters from frontline soldiers, say a heartfelt thank you and warmly embrace our dear veterans. We will always remember that it was the Soviet people who defended the freedom of Russia, all of Europe and the entire world.

Russian soldiers and officers are honourably carrying on these glorious military traditions. Today it is the participants of the special military operation who are on the frontlines. You fight for truth and justice; you show courage and valour in defence of Russia. You are true national heroes. We are proud of you, we admire your courage, we honour your exploits. We know it is difficult for you, and we will do everything possible to help you complete the mission you have been assigned. Thank you for valiantly performing your military duty, and for your faithful and selfless service to the Fatherland.


There are many alarming challenges and risks in the modern world, but the powerful capabilities and combat readiness of our army and navy guarantee Russia’s security and its free, sovereign development.

Incorporating our real combat experience, we will continue to strengthen the Armed Forces in every possible way, including ongoing re-equipping and modernisation efforts. Today, the share of modern weapons and equipment in the strategic nuclear forces has already reached 95 percent, while the naval component of the “nuclear triad” is at almost 100 percent.

We have begun serial production of new Zircon hypersonic missiles. Trials of other offensive systems are nearing completion. Last December, new strategic submarines were added to the navy. Just the other day in Kazan, four Tu-160M ​​missile carriers were transferred to the Armed Forces.

In the general-purpose forces, we will also strive to keep the share of modern weapons and vehicles as high as possible.

To repeat, this work is being carried out systematically and consistently. In recent years, defence industry enterprises have increased the production and supply of the most popular weapons multiple times over, primarily high-precision strike weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles of various types, tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, as well as air defence systems, counter-battery systems, and communications and reconnaissance equipment.

Next to come is the development and serial production of promising prototypes and the introduction of artificial intelligence technologies in the military sector.

The priority tasks include improving combat proficiency, advanced skills, the coordinated actions of our units and formations, and the training of commanders at all levels. A strong source of support here is those sergeants and officers who have proven themselves in battle, heroically fighting on land, in the air and at sea. True commanders, brave and decisive, they lead their soldiers. The future of our army and navy lies with them.

Dear friends,

The country, all citizens of Russia believe in the strength and reliability of our defenders and know that you are always on duty, always safeguarding the interests and security of our Fatherland.

I wish you good health and new successes for the benefit of the Motherland. And of course, my warmest greetings to your families and friends, those who love you and wait for you, who support you in life and in service.

Happy Defender of the Fatherland Day!

February 23, 2024