Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Oliver Stone Exposes US Coup d’État In Ukraine


Oliver Stone Exposes US Coup d’État In Ukraine
The people in Western Ukraine had to be completely stupid to be so easily deceived and turned against their own democratically elected government. But the overthrown government was also stupid for believing in negotiations, for trusting the US, and for not arming the police who were being killed by snipers. The Russian government was too focused on the Sochi Olympics to realize what was happening and that the coup was directed at Russia. Russian trust of Washington also resulted in the murder of Gaddafi and the destruction of Libya. Trusting America, Russia withheld its veto over the no-fly zone imposed on Libya, because Russia trusted the assurances given by Washington that regime change was not the purpose.
Here is Oliver Stone’s documentary on Washington’s coup in Ukraine. The truth differs greatly from the lies told by the Western presstitutes and the US government.
'Ukraine on Fire': Oliver Stone Docu on US Destruction of Ukraine Finally Available in the West (VIDEO)
"The film was originally released in 2016, but unsurprisingly, Stone came up against problems distributing the film in the US and western countries. A Russian-dubbed version was available almost immediately and was aired on TV in Russia, but people in the 'free world' were left without access to the full film."
(Sott) Jan 16, 2018 

Oliver Stone's seminal documentary Ukraine on Fire has finally been made available to watch in the West. 

Ukraine, the 'borderlands' between Russia and 'civilized' Europe is on fire. For centuries, it has been at the center of a tug-of-war between powers seeking to control its rich lands and Russia's access to the Mediterranean. 

The Maidan Massacre in early 2014 triggered a bloody uprising that ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, spurred Crimeans to secede and join Russia, and sparked a civil war in Eastern Ukraine. 

Russia was portrayed by Western media as the perpetrator, and has been sanctioned and widely condemned as such. But was Russia responsible for what happened? 

Ukraine on Fire provides a historical perspective for the deep divisions in the region which led to the 2004 Orange Revolution, the 2014 uprisings, and the violent overthrow of democratically-elected Yanukovych. 

Covered by Western media as a 'popular revolution', it was in fact a coup d'état scripted and staged by ultra-nationalist groups and the US State Department. 

Investigative journalist Robert Parry reveals how US-funded political NGOs and media companies have emerged since the 1980s, replacing the CIA in promoting America's geopolitical agenda abroad. 

Executive producer Oliver Stone gained unprecedented access to the inside story through his on-camera interviews with former President Viktor Yanukovych and Minister of Internal Affairs Vitaliy Zakharchenko, who explain how the US Ambassador and factions in Washington actively plotted for regime change. 

And, in his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Stone solicits Putin's take on the significance of Crimea, NATO and the US's history of interference in elections and regime change in the region. 

The film was originally released in 2016, but unsurprisingly, Stone came up against problems distributing the film in the US and western countries. A Russian-dubbed version was available almost immediately and was aired on TV in Russia, but people in the 'free world' were left without access to the full film. 

Now, at last, the full exposé is available on YouTube. Though, of course, everyone is encouraged to purchase a copy to support Stone's important work. 

Source: SOTT

Monday, January 8, 2018

Christmas greetings


Vladimir Putin congratulated all Orthodox Christians and all Russians celebrating Christmas.
January 7, 2018
St Petersburg
At Christmas mass at the Church of St. Symeon the God-Receiver and Anna the Prophetess.

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At Christmas mass at the Church of St. Symeon the God-Receiver and Anna the Prophetess.
The message reads, in part:
“I sincerely wish you a happy Christmas.
This happy holiday brings joy and hope to millions of believers as they feel closer to their spiritual roots and national traditions, united through eternal Christian values and our nation’s centuries-long historic and cultural legacy.
With great satisfaction, I would like to acknowledge the fruitful and truly selfless efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian denominations that support civil society and accord in our country, and the development of the inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue. Another important contribution they make is to strengthening lofty moral values and ideals in society, educating the younger generation and resolving current social issues.
I wish all Orthodox Christians and everybody who is celebrating Christmas good health, success and happiness.”
* * *
Vladimir Putin attended Christmas mass at the Church of St. Symeon the God-Receiver and Anna the Prophetess in St Petersburg. After the service, the President presented the church with a mid-19th century two-tiered icon featuring the images of The Birth of Holy Theotokos and Christ’s Resurrection, as well as those of Saints Elijah the Prophet, Anna the Prophetess, Symeon, Saint Michael the Archangel and other saints revered by the church.

The Church of St. Symeon the God-Receiver and Anna the Prophetess was built in 1734 on the order of Empress Anna Ioannovna in the style of St Petersburg Baroque with elements of old Russian architecture on the site of the 1714 wooden church dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel. The church is an architectural monument and one of the city’s oldest Orthodox churches.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year Address to the Nation December 31, 2017


December 31, 2017
New Year Address to the Nation.
New Year Address to the Nation.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: 

We are on the threshold of a New Year, year 2018. Although we celebrate this every year, we are always happy to usher the year in as something new, hoping that the wishes we make at the stroke of midnight do come true.
New Year’s Eve is above all a family celebration. We mark it just as we did when we were children, with presents and pleasant surprises, as well as with a special warmth and expectation for change.
Change will certainly come to our lives if each of us takes care of our parents and values every minute we spend with them, if we try to better understand our children and their aspirations and dreams, and if we support those nearest to us who need our help and our generosity.
The ability to help, to show concern and understanding for others and to do good deeds fills our lives with true human meaning. As we celebrate, be it with family and friends, or out in the streets, we all share the same festive mood, while modern technology allows us to share our feelings with our nearest and dearest who may be hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away.
As usual, my special words are extended to those who are working at the moment, who are doing their military or professional duty at hospitals or on board aircraft or trains.
We are all together on this wonderful New Year’s night. We are also together in our everyday life as well. Unity, friendship and selfless love for Russia multiply the strength we need for worthy deeds and high achievements.
I am sincerely grateful to all of you for believing in yourself and in our country, for your work and its results. I hope there will always be trust and mutual understanding in your life.
A New Year, year 2018 will begin in just a few seconds. This is the time when we should say the most important words to each other, forgive one another’s mistakes and forget old grudges.
Embrace, say words of love, and show that you really care. May the life of each family and individual improve for the better, may you all be healthy, may children be born that make us happy.
I wholeheartedly wish happiness and all the very best to all of you, as well as peace and prosperity to Great Russia, our one and only homeland.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas and New Year greetings to heads of state and government


Vladimir Putin sent Christmas and New Year greetings to heads of state and government and heads of international organisations.
December 30, 2017

In his message of greetings to President of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khadjimba, Mr Putin noted steady progress in the development of relations between Russia and Abkhazia over the last 12 months. The President of Russia expressed confidence that the two countries would maintain their joint efforts to promote an alliance and strategic partnership to the benefit of their brotherly peoples and for strengthening peace, security and stability in the Caucasus.
In his message to President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, Mr Putin noted that only recently Russia and Armenia marked two milestones: the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations, and the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. The President of Russia said he was confident that by working together Russia and Armenia would be able to further develop their alliance, as well as partnership within the Eurasian Economic Union, the CSTO, the CIS and other international frameworks for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries, and in the interests of better regional security and stability.
In his message to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Mr Putin stressed that in 2017 Russia and Azerbaijan celebrated 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, and that this anniversary was marked by new achievements in developing mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in various areas. The President of Russia went on to express hope that the two countries would continue their constructive dialogue and work in close cooperation with the view to further stepping up partnership ties between Russia and Azerbaijan in all areas in the interests of their peoples and for strengthening security and stability within and beyond the Trans-Caucasus region.
In his message of greetings to President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Mr Putin emphasised that by marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Belarus the two allied countries were reminded of the significant achievements in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas. The President of Russia said he was confident that building on the good traditions of friendship and mutual assistance, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus would continue their fruitful efforts in addressing the relevant matters on the bilateral agenda, strengthening integration ties within the Union State and the Eurasian Economic Union, and effectively coordinating their efforts within the CIS and CSTO.
The President of Russia sent New Year’s greetings to the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, in which Mr Putin reminded his counterpart that the two countries had recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations, and that this milestone was accompanied by new achievements in almost all areas of bilateral cooperation. Mr Putin said he hoped that the momentum in promoting the strategic partnership and alliance between Russia and Kazakhstan would be maintained with a view to ensuring stability and security in Central Asia and across the Eurasian space.
In his message to President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Mr Putin noted that the outgoing year could be viewed as proof of the solidity of the strategic partnership and alliance between Russia and Kyrgyzstan. Specifically, the two countries were proactive in promoting political dialogue, implementing mutually beneficial bilateral projects in various areas, and coordinated their efforts with a view to resolving urgent regional issues. Mr Putin expressed his strong belief that the two countries would continue working together to expand constructive bilateral cooperation, promote integration processes within the Eurasian Economic Union, and deepen their partnership within the CIS, the CSTO and the SCO.
In his message of greetings on the New Year and Christmas to President of Moldova Igor Dodon, Mr Putin praised the efforts by the Moldovan leader to promote relations between the two countries, and expressed confidence in the further strengthening of constructive cooperation in political, trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian and other areas in the interests of the friendly peoples of Russia and Moldova and for the sake of regional stability and security.
In his message to President of the Republic of South Ossetia Anatoly Bibilov, the President of Russia notes that Russia and South Ossetia have done a great deal in the passing year towards the implementation of the Treaty on Alliance and Integration. Vladimir Putin expressed confidence in continued consistent efforts to strengthen Russian-South Ossetian relations in all areas in the interests of our fraternal peoples, as well as peace and stability in the South Caucasus.
The President of Russia sent his New Year’s greetings to the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, noting that their two countries were making steady progress in promoting their relations in the spirit of allied and strategic partnership. In addition, Mr Putin said that he was confident that Russia and Tajikistan would continue their joint efforts to further step up mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas next year, while also coordinating their initiatives in resolving urgent regional and international issues.
In his message of greetings to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Mr Putin noted that the outgoing year was marked by significant achievements in strengthening the strategic partnership between Russia and Turkmenistan. Specifically, the meetings between the presidents in Ashgabat and Sochi showed that the two countries were guided by similar approaches in dealing with topical matters on the regional and international agendas. The President of Russia said he was confident that by working together the countries would carry forward the momentum in their bilateral relations in all areas for the benefit of their peoples, and for the sake of peace and stability in Central Asia.
In his message to President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Vladimir Putin writes that thanks to joint efforts, 2017 became a breakthrough year for Russian-Uzbekistani relations. The parties signed several important agreements, which have advanced bilateral relations in many areas to a fundamentally new level. The President of Russia expressed confidence that the two countries would use the results achieved to bolster the development of bilateral strategic partnership and alliance and achieve greater cooperation towards strengthening peace and stability in Central Asia.
In his message of greetings on Christmas and New Year to President of the Argentine Republic Mauricio Macri the President of Russia reaffirmed his desire to promote cooperation between the two countries in many areas, both at the bilateral level and within the G20, which will build up its activity under Argentinean Presidency, Vladimir Putin wrote.
The Russian head of state extended his Christmas and New Year greetings to President of the Federative Republic of Brazil Michel Temer, noting that much had been done this year to strengthen Russian-Brazilian strategic partnership. Specifically, the parties maintain a substantive political dialogue, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation produced good results, and Russia and Brazil interacted constructive in the UN, BRICS and the G20. Vladimir Putin expressed his interest in continuing working together to strengthen the entire range of bilateral relations to the benefit of Russian and Brazilian people.
The President sent birthday, Christmas and New Year’s greetings to Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. He wished the Prime Minister, his family and the entire Canadian nation happiness and prosperity.
In his greetings to President of China Xi Jinping on the New Year and upcoming Spring Festival, the Russian President noted that 2017 has brought more success in Russian-Chinese relations, with substantial growth in mutual trade and dynamic exchanges in science and technology, and culture and the humanitarian sphere. Vladimir Putin emphasised the fact that Moscow and Beijing cooperate extensively in global affairs and contribute greatly to the solutions of current international problems. Interregional links are also intensifying, with the Years of Interregional Cooperation planned for 2018 and 2019. Moreover, the Russian President confirmed his willingness to further cooperate in expanding comprehensive trust-based partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China for the benefit of the two neighbourly peoples.
In his message to President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba Raul Castro on the Republic’s national holiday, Liberation Day, as well as Christmas and the New Year, Mr Putin noted steady progress in promoting the strategic partnership between Russia and Cuba and expressed hope in continuing joint coordinated efforts to step up mutually beneficial political, trade and economic, scientific and technical, cultural and humanitarian and other types of cooperation.
The Russian President also extended his Christmas and New Year greetings to Czech President Milos Zeman and expressed confidence in the agreements reached at the recent meeting in Sochi facilitating development of Russian-Czech relations, mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation for the good of the two countries.
In his message to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, the Russian President expressed hope for continuing the constructive dialogue and active cooperation on strengthening neighbourly Russia-Finland relations in the interests of the two nations. “This year marked the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence. I have warm memories of the festive events in Savonlinna and our substantive meeting,” the President noted in his greetings.
Vladimir Putin sent holiday greetings to French President Emmanuel Macron. “Our meeting in Versailles and telephone contacts have allowed us to discuss many current issues of bilateral relations and key international issues at length. I expect to continue our constructive dialogue and joint work aimed at strengthening Russian-French links. I look forward to your visit to Russia,” the message reads.
In his Christmas and New Year greetings to German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkeland Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Vladimir Putin confirmed his commitment to continuing the dialogue and cooperation, and expressed hope for Russia and Germany to advance on topical issues on the bilateral, regional and international agendas that will meet the ultimate interests of the two nations, and to contribute to stronger security and stability in Europe and beyond, in the upcoming year.
Vladimir Putin wrote in his message of greetings to Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban that Russian-Hungarian relations developed constructively even in the current complicated international situation. The President of Russia also expressed hope for the success of their continued cooperation towards promoting mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in the interests of their people and the European continent as a whole.
In his greetings to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin noted that the passing year has been marked with an important anniversary, 70 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and India. Appreciating the outcome of bilateral contacts in 2017, the Russian President expressed confidence in further advancing the privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India even further in politics, trade, the economy, science, technology, culture and other areas in the upcoming year, and in expanding constructive cooperation within the UN, BRICS, the SCO and other multilateral bodies in the interests of solving current regional and global issues.
Addressing Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin noted that Russian-Israeli relations are of a friendly and constructive nature. The Russian President stressed that he relies on further consolidating bilateral cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, culture and other areas, as well as partnership in ensuring stability and security in the Middle East.
In his greetings to Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia highly values relations with Italy, which are based on centuries-long traditions of friendship, mutual respect and affinity, and despite the challenging international situation, Russian-Italian cooperation in 2017 has progressed rather successfully. The Russian President also expressed his confidence in the fact that, by coordinating their efforts, Russia and Italy can make a significant contribution to increasing stability and security in Europe and the world in general.
In his greetings to Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, the President of Russia noted with satisfaction that recently, Russian-Japanese relations had progressed in a number of key areas. Thus, the political dialogue has intensified, with foreign and defence ministers’ consultations resuming in the ‘two plus two’ format, and inter-parliamentary links have expanded. The Russian President stressed that the upcoming year would be marked by a large-scale bilateral event, the Year of Russia in Japan and the Year of Japan in Russia, which is to facilitate increased trust and mutual understanding between our peoples. In addition, Vladimir Putin invited Prime Minister Abe to the opening ceremony of the cross-years next May in Moscow as well as to the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The President of Russia sent his greetings to President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, expressing the positive momentum in the friendly relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea, which was attributable largely to the meaningful and constructive talks in Hamburg and Vladivostok. Mr Putin went on to express hope in further strengthening bilateral ties by working together for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries and for the sake of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia in general.
In his message of greetings to Prince Albert II of Monaco, Mr Putin noted that Russia valued highly the personal contribution by the Prince of Monaco to strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries. The President of Russia also expressed hope that 2018 would open up new opportunities for friendly and trust-based exchanges on topical matters on the bilateral agenda and on key international issues.
The Russian President also sent Christmas and New Year’s greetings to President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic. In his message, Mr Putin noted the recent meeting with the Serbian leader in Moscow and emphasised that he hoped the two countries would continue working together with a view to stepping up bilateral relations in all areas to the benefit of their brotherly peoples and for the sake of regional stability and security.
In his message to the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, Mr Putin noted that in 2017 relations between Russia and Slovenia were developing constructively, and expressed hope that by working together the two countries would further strengthen mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in politics, the economy, humanitarian and other areas for the benefit of the peoples of Russia and Slovenia.
Addressing South African President Jacob Zuma, the President underlined that in 2017 relations between Russia and South Africa have progressed in politics, trade, the economy, science and technology, culture and other areas, which was significantly promoted by the productive and substantive talks in Hamburg and Xiamen. Vladimir Putin expressed confidence in the fact that the upcoming South African Presidency in BRICS would further intensify this multilateral association’s activity and expand opportunities for interaction between Moscow and Pretoria on current international issues.
In his holiday greetings to King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, the Russian President expressed hope for developing mutually beneficial links between Russia and Spain in 2018 for the good of the two nations and in the interests of stronger stability and security on the European continent.
In his message of greetings to the President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad, the President of Russia expressed hope that in 2018 the situation in Syria would continue changing for the better. Mr Putin noted that defeating terrorists and rapidly bringing the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic back to normal would be in the best interests of the whole world and would improve security in the Middle East. In addition, Mr Putin confirmed Russia’s commitment to assisting the Syrian Arab Republic in upholding its state sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and promoting a political settlement and economic recovery.
The President of Russia also sent greetings to the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stressing that in the outgoing year Russia and Turkey not only succeeded in putting their bilateral relations back on track, but also achieved substantial progress in enhancing their bilateral cooperation in many areas. “By working closely together our countries have succeeded in preventing the terrorist threat from spreading further across the Middle East and created conditions for launching the political settlement of the Syrian conflict,” the message reads. In addition, Vladimir Putin confirmed his interest in continued constructive dialogue and proactive engagement on all matters on the bilateral, regional and international agendas.
The head of state sent his Christmas and New Year’s greetings to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Prime Minister Theresa May. He pointed out that closer Russian-UK cooperation would be in the basic interests of the Russian and British people and Europe as a whole.
In his message of greetings to President of the United States of America Donald Trump, Mr Putin noted, among other things, his strong belief that in the current challenging international environment, it is especially important for Russia and the US to engage in constructive dialogue with a view to enhancing global strategic stability and finding the best solutions to the global challenges and threats. The President of Russia stressed the importance of the principles of equality and mutual respect as the foundation for developing bilateral relations. “This would allow us to make progress in promoting pragmatic cooperation designed for the long term,” the message reads.
In a message to His Holiness Pope Francis, the President of Russia expressed hope for continued constructive cooperation between Russia and the Vatican towards protecting peace and global human values and strengthening dialogue between civilisations and religions. Vladimir Putin wished His Holiness the Pope health, happiness and success in his noble endeavours.
The Russian leader sent Christmas and New Year greetings to President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro. Vladimir Putin wrote in his message that the recent talks in Moscow were very constructive and productive and expressed hope that they would continue to work together to strengthen the relations of strategic partnership between Russia and Venezuela.
Vladimir Putin also sent his greetings to President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang and General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong. He expressed satisfaction with the development of Russian-Vietnamese strategic partnership and hope that the implementation of the agreements they reached in Moscow and Danang would help boost bilateral relations in all spheres and joint actions by our two countries in the interests of stronger peace, stability and security in the Asian-Pacific region.
The President of Russia also extended his New Year greetings to several heads of international organisations, specifically UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, Honorary President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, honorary member of the International Olympic Committee Jean-Claude Killy, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel and President of the International Judo Federation Marius Vizer.
The Russian President also sent greetings to President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Gianni Infantino and thanked him for his assistance in the successful organisation of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and expressed confidence in further efficient cooperation on the largest sporting festival, the FIFA World Cup.

President Putin also sent Christmas and New Year greetings to several former heads of foreign states and governments as well as political figures, including Almazbek AtambayevSilvio Berlusconi, Romano Prodi, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Nicolas SarkozyFrancois Fillon, Gerhard Schroeder and Tarja Halonen.

Meeting with service personnel who took part in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria


Vladimir Putin met with Russian Armed Forces service personnel who took part in the anti-terrorist operation in the Syrian Arab Republic. During the meeting that took place in the St George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, the President presented state decorations to those who distinguished themselves while performing special missions in Syria.
December 28, 2017
The Kremlin, Moscow
 With Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Meeting with service personnel who took part in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria.
Over 600 soldiers and officers from all branches of the Russian Armed Forces have been invited to attend the event.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,
I am honoured to welcome you to the Kremlin’s St George Hall, the hall of Russian military glory to which you have added your own bright and victorious page.
Today we are celebrating you as true defenders of Russia. You did your duty excellently. You fulfilled the most difficult tasks in Syria and have returned home to your relatives and loved ones victorious. As your Supreme Commander-in-Chief, I thank you and all your comrades-in-arms for your professionalism and selflessness and for your commitment to your military duty and your oath.
But my warmest words go to the female military personnel who endured combat hardships alongside their comrades at the forefront of hostilities. Thank you very much.
Over 48,000 Russian soldiers and officers took part in the operations in Syria in a little over two years. They came from nearly all military fields: Air Force and Navy, special units and military police, mine clearing units, reconnaissance, communications, special medical and logistics services, military command and military advisers. Each of you acted valiantly and resolutely, as the sons and daughters of our great Homeland, the soldiers of our Army and Navy should, considering their enduring and heroic traditions of valour, honour and dignity.
You fought for Russia’s interests, for Russia, for your home, for the right and just cause. Therefore, our entire nation was behind you. I am sure that you felt this civil solidarity and patriotism, and this unity between the army and the people empowered you. The public followed the daily developments and reports from Syria. Our people believed in you. They are proud of you and our Armed Forces. They felt the pain of every grievous loss sincerely, as their own.
We will always remember your comrades who were killed in the line of duty. They perished defending Russia. Their names will be eternalised in the personnel lists of their units. Their heroic deeds will serve as examples to the younger generation of officers and soldiers. We will always support and take care of their families, parents, children and loved ones. We will do everything for this.
Now let us honour their memory.
(A minute of silence)
Comrade officers,
The memory of our heroes will strengthen our determination in the fight against international terrorism as well as other threats to our country.
As it has happened many times in history, Russia made a crucial, decisive input to the defeat of the criminal forces that challenged the entire civilisation, to the destruction of the terrorist army, the barbaric dictatorship that brought death and devastation, erased hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, historical and cultural monuments from the face of the earth, and planned to turn Syria and its neighbours into a launching ground for global aggression targeting our country. Should the terrorists have won in Syria, expanded their ranks with new recruits, accessed money, oil sources and modern weapons they would have certainly continued their global attack with new and advanced forces.
They received a deserved punishment for their crimes. Their equipment, headquarters, infrastructure and thousands of militants were destroyed.
As you know, a terrorist attack was perpetrated in St Petersburg yesterday, and the Federal Security Service has recently thwarted another terrorist attack. And what would happen if hundreds and thousands of people whom I have just mentioned came back here well trained and armed?
By the way, I instructed the Director of the Federal Security Service yesterday to act within the bounds of the law while dealing with these thugs and arresting them. However, if the lives and health of our operatives and officers are at risk, the FSB must act resolutely, take no prisoners and eliminate terrorists on the spot.
The Russian Army and Navy have displayed their improved capability in full measure, and they have successfully used up-to-date weapons and equipment. Aerospace Forces pilots flew 34,000 sorties and launched 166 high-precision strikes against terrorist facilities. The Syrian Army has liberated the entire country and over 1,000 population centres with the key support of Russia’s Aerospace Forces and Navy.
Your heroism and professional actions have made it possible to preserve Syria’s statehood, to stop mass murders, executions and terror against civilians, have made it possible to launch a political settlement of the conflict in that country, to restore normal life and to return tens of thousands of refugees.
Syrian citizens will remember with gratitude the courage of Russian service personnel who sometimes delivered food, medications and essentials under fire. They will remember with gratitude the peacekeeping efforts of Russian officers who worked at the Centre for the Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides to stop bloodshed and to give people hope.
Comrade officers,
You have performed all the missions that were assigned to you. Your military units have returned back to the places of their permanent deployment in Russia. In Syria, two Russian bases – an air base in Khmeimim and a naval facility in the port of Tartus – will remain and operate on a permanent basis. This is an important factor in defending our national interests as well as ensuring Russia’s security in one of the key, strategic sectors.
We intend to continue improving the Armed Forces and their combat and technical capability, to create a new-generation army, and to develop a system of special guarantees for service personnel, their family members, and military pensioners. These are our absolute priorities, because the Armed Forces are the basis of Russia’s independence and security, which means its irreversible, sustainable development and progress.
In this large-scale and responsible work to promote military organisation, strengthen the army and the navy, and address other large-scale tasks facing our country, I certainly count on you, merited and still very young veterans of the Syrian operation, on the patriotism, willpower, experience and military conditioning of all our officers and men.
I wish you every success in your careers. Let me congratulate you on returning home. I am happy to have this opportunity to present state decorations to you.
Colonel General Sergei Surovikin: Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces,
Permit me to express my gratitude for your appreciation of my military service and the high decoration I have been awarded today. This obliges me to many things, such as to continue to serve Russia selflessly to my last breath. I believe that this state decoration has been awarded to me not just for the services I have done personally, but primarily for the services done by my subordinates and comrades-in-arms, as well as for the mastery of my commanders and my teachers, which they shared with me during my student years as well as my military service.
While doing our combat duty in Syria, we never forgot for a second that we were protecting Russia and that we must do this to the best of our ability, as we had pledged to do in our military oath when entering military service, as well as out of the deep understanding of our responsibility to the country for eliminating the global terrorist threat.
Speaking on behalf of all service personnel, I thank you, Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief, for your high appreciation of our military operation in Syria, for your efforts to strengthen peace, Russia and the army, as well as for your concern for service personnel.
We are ready to fulfil any task you will give us. Please, rest assured that the Aerospace Forces will ensure the inviolability of Russia’s borders and will protect national interests in the air as well as in space.
Allow me to wish you and all citizens of Russia a happy New Year and to wish you all the very best, happiness and prosperity.
Thank you.
Major Maxim Makolkin: Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,
Let me express my sincere gratitude to you for this high state decoration.
Military pilots are proud of being the ones whom you entrusted to be the main attack power of the Russian forces in Syria. We received a unique opportunity to test our weapons and hone our piloting skills in combat conditions. The high potential of our aviation equipment, its reliability as well as the professionalism of our aircrews enabled us to feel our indisputable superiority in the sky.
On seeing our Western coalition partners in the air, we always tailed them, as pilots say, which means a victory in real combat.
Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief,
Let me assure you that Russia’s military pilots are always ready to defend our Motherland, ensure its stability and protect its interests in any region of the world.
Thank you.
Senior Sergeant Tatyana Kovaleva: Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,
Let me express sincere words of gratitude to you for the opportunity to represent here, in the heart of Russia, at the Moscow Kremlin, the medical specialists who were performing their mission in the Syrian Arab Republic.
It is the greatest honour for me today to receive a state decoration from you personally, from the President of our country and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. I share this very high assessment of my work with my comrades-in-arms, my glorious Airborne Troops and Medical Specialists Corps of the Russian Army.
While in Syria, we acted in accordance with our Russian traditions, in Russian style: protecting the Syrian people, showing mercy and compassion through real deeds and rendering comprehensive assistance and support to the population of that long-suffering country. Russian military medics, often at the risk of their lives, provided medical aid to hundreds of people, delivered medications to remote villages, trained and consulted our Syrian colleagues and helped restore the war-embattled medical system. And all the time, we remembered that we represent Russia and this helped us do our job.
Mr President, let me, on behalf of all medical specialists, thank you for the high assessment of our work and assure you that we faithfully serve and will continue to serve our Fatherland, great Russia led by our President.
Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,
I would like to once again congratulate the recipients of the state decorations, and everyone attending this ceremony, as well as the 48,000 service personnel who took part in the Syrian operation.
You know and see better than anyone else that our armed forces have changed radically over the past two years, because our people have proved equal to the task, which is the most important thing, as well as because they have seen how our military equipment works, how command and logistics elements work, and how modern our Armed Forces have become. The entire world has seen this as well, but the most important thing is that our people have seen it. This is very important, because people must feel protected; they must feel that their security is reliably guaranteed.
I would also like to express my gratitude to the defence industry, whose personnel often worked side by side with you, doing their duty by adjusting the latest military equipment to combat duty and turning this modern equipment into a powerful force.
As I have told you, we will continue to modernise our Armed Forces, the Navy and the Army. I pin my hopes on you and those like you. This means that I pin my hopes on the entire Army and Navy, which is made up of such people as you.
I also want to extend my gratitude to your families and loved ones, who worried about you, and to thank them for their understanding and support.
Thank you, and a happy New Year!

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