A very important speech by Vladimir Putin

As I put this out for your contemplation, I can’t help but wonder what you all might think, and particularly what our veterans and their families might think. . . ~J


The Saker
Thu, 17 Mar 2016 14:16 UTC


© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

At a meeting in the Kremlin’s St George Hall, Vladimir Putin presented state decorations to service personnel and defence industry specialists who distinguished themselves in the performance of special missions in the Syrian Arab Republic. More than 700 officers and men of the Aerospace Forces, the Ground Forces and the Navy attended the ceremony, along with representatives of the military-industrial complex.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,

I would like to welcome you – all the service personnel who took part in the operation in Syria.

All of you – pilots, sailors, service personnel of control bodies, of special purpose units, intelligence, communication and procurement, military advisers – acted consistently and with precision.

Words of special gratitude go to the female service personnel. You serve alongside men, with persistence and dignity. Your choice in life brings you our deep respect.

Thank you all for your dedication to our Fatherland.

Russia is proud of you, of its soldiers and officers who protect the interests of their homeland with a great degree professionalism and courage.

Comrade officers,

You remember what the situation was like in September of 2015. Back then, a significant part of the country was seized by terrorist groups, and the situation was getting worse.

In full compliance with international law, at the request of the legitimate government and the country’s president, we made a decision to launch our military operation. From the very start, we were very clear about its goals: support of the Syrian army in its lawful struggle with terrorist groups. Our actions were also timed for the period of active assaults against the terrorists. We stated clearly that we did not intend to get involved in an internal Syrian conflict. Only the Syrians themselves should seek a final solution and decide their country’s future.

The main target of our operation was terrorism. The struggle against international terrorism is a fair and righteous cause. This is a struggle against enemies of civilisation, against those who bring barbarity and violence, trying to renounce the great spiritual, humanitarian values that the world rests on.

I would like to repeat that the main goal of our actions in Syria was to stop the global evil and not to let terrorism spread to Russia. And our country has demonstrated its unquestionable leadership, willpower and responsibility.

Regarding the results we have achieved. Your actions and intense combat effort turned the situation around. We did not let this terrorist tumour grow, destroyed the bandits’ hiding places and munitions depots and blocked oil smuggling routes that brought the terrorists their main funding.

We have done a huge amount of work to support the lawful Syrian authorities – this is what I spoke about when addressing the United Nations on the organisation’s 70th anniversary. We strengthened their armed forces, which are now capable of not only holding back the terrorists, but also of conducting assault operations against them. The Syrian army has gained the strategic initiative and continues clearing its land of terrorists.

The main thing is that we have created conditions for the start of a peaceful process. We have managed to achieve positive, constructive cooperation with the United States of America and a number of other countries, as well as with the responsible political forces within Syria that truly wish to stop the war and find the only possible political solution to the conflict. It was you, Russian soldiers who opened up the road to peace.

Comrade officers,

After the ceasefire agreement was reached between the opposition and government forces, the scope of work for our aviation units was significantly reduced. The number of sorties went down threefold from 60 – 80 to 20 – 30 a day.

This made the grouping we had created there excessive in the military sense. The decision to withdraw a significant part of our service personnel and equipment was coordinated with the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad, who was notified of our plans in advance and supported them.

I would like to add that in our joint statement, Russia and the United States stressed that the struggle against terrorist organisations, recognised as such by the UN, will continue. Meanwhile, the government troops in Syria will not conduct any action against the armed units of the Syrian opposition that indicated their commitment to a ceasefire.

At the same time, I would like to stress that any group violating the ceasefire will be taken off the list provided by the United States, with all the consequences that come with it.

In this connection, I would like to specify the tasks our service personnel remaining in the Syrian Republic will be working on.

I will repeat that the primary task is to monitor ceasefire and create conditions for a political internal dialogue in Syria.

Our bases in Syria are at Tartus and Khmeimim, the service personnel there are reliably protected from land, sea and air. All the components of the deployed air defence system, including close range Pantsir-F and long-range S-400 Triumph units will be on regular duty.

I would like to note that we have significantly restored the potential of the Syrian air defence forces as well. All the parties concerned have been made aware of this. We proceed from fundamental international norms – nobody has the right to violate the airspace of a sovereign country, Syria in this case.

We have created together with the American side an efficient mechanism to prevent air incidents, but all our partners have been warned that our air defence systems will be used against any target that we deem to be threatening Russian service personnel. I want to stress – any target.

We will of course continue to provide assistance to the lawful Syrian government. This assistance is comprehensive in nature and includes financial aid, supplies of equipment and arms, assistance in training and building Syrian armed forces, reconnaissance support and assistance to headquarters in planning operations. And finally, direct support, I mean, the use of our space force and strike and fighter aviation. The Russian forces that remain in Syria are enough to ensure this.

We will continue to assist the Syrian army and authorities in their fight against the so-called Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups that have been declared as such, as I have said, by the UN Security Council. Our uncompromising attitude to terrorism remains unchanged.

What will the balance of forces be like after the reduction of the Russian group? A balance would be ensured.

Moreover, I am certain that with our support and strengthening of the Syrian army, we will shortly see the patriotic forces there achieve success in their struggle against terrorism.

As you may know, fierce fighting is on around Palmyra and on the approaches to the city. I hope this treasure of the world civilisation, or whatever is left of it after the bandits got there, would be returned to the people of Syria and the whole world.

If necessary, of course, Russia will be able to enhance its group in the region in a matter of hours to a size required for a specific situation and to use all the options available.

We would not want to do that. Military escalation is not our choice. Therefore, we still count on the common sense of both sides, on the adherence by both the Syrian authorities and the opposition to a peaceful process.

In this connection, I would like to note the position of President Bashar al-Assad. We see his reserve, his sincere striving for peace, his readiness for compromise and dialogue. The very fact that we withdrew part of our military group there against the backdrop of negotiations on the Syrian settlement that started in Geneva is an important positive signal, and I am certain that all parties to the Syrian conflict will duly appreciate it.

We will work and make every effort in coordination with our partners to help establish peace in Syria, to rid the long-suffering people of Syria of the terrorist threat and help the Syrians restore their country.

Comrade officers,

You have proved that our army and navy are strong, modern and well equipped and our warriors are steadfast, well-trained and hardened, capable of resolving the most complicated large-scale tasks.

In the course of the anti-terrorist operation, you have performed more than 9,000 operational sorties. Mass strikes using high-precision Kalibr cruise missiles with a range of 1,500 km were dealt at terrorist facilities from our naval ships located in two seas – the Caspian and the Mediterranean, both from subsurface ships and a submarine. We are proud of the professional actions of our navy.

Our long-range strategic aviation has also done a good job. Thus, they used new air-based X-101 missiles with a range of about 4,500 km. And finally, over the short period in Syria, as I have said, we deployed a modern and efficient air defence system and developed cooperation between all the forces and resources and organised administrative support for the group. Our military transport aviation and Navy support vessels have done well too.

In other words, all the most important support issues, the organisation of our group in a remote combat area were resolved competently and in a timely manner, which again demonstrated the enhanced quality of Russia’s Armed Forces.

I would also like to thank representatives of the military-industrial complex: workers, engineers and designers. The latest Russian weaponry has passed the tests, and not at shooting ranges but in real combat. This is the best and the most serious test.

This experience will make it possible to introduce necessary changes, to improve the efficiency and reliability of the equipment, to create new generation weaponry, and to improve the Armed Forces and enhance their combat capability. Life itself has shown that they are a reliable guarantee of our country’s security.

We should bear in mind the threats that appear when we do not do things on time; we should remember the lessons of history, including the tragic events of the beginning of World War II and the Great Patriotic War, the price we paid for mistakes in military construction and planning and the shortage in new military equipment. Everything should be done on time, while weakness, neglect and omissions are always dangerous.

The military operation in Syria certainly required certain funds, however the main part of the funding came from the Defence Ministry, their resources. Some 33 billion rubles were earmarked in the Ministry’s 2015 budget for military exercises. We simply retargeted these funds to support our group in Syria, and there is hardly a better way of training and perfecting combat skills than under real combat conditions. In this sense, it is better to use motor operating time and combat stock in combat than at a testing range. You, professionals, know this better than anyone else.

Obviously, additional funds will be required to restock our arsenals, equipment and ammunition, including repairs of the equipment that was used in Syria. I am sure these costs are reasonable and necessary, because this was a chance to test everything in combat, find faults and rectify them. These costs help enhance our country’s defence capability and resolve strategic and current tasks to ensure Russia’s security. We need to do it now, to avoid paying a much higher price later.

That price is high, and I am not talking about money now. Here in this hall are Yelena Peshkova, Valentina Cheremisina, Irina Pozynich and Yulia Zhuravleva – widows of our comrade officers who died fighting terrorists. I know that for their families and friends, the loss of Oleg, Ivan, Alexander and Fedor is irreparable. We all take this as our own loss. That is why I used your husbands’, fathers’ and sons’ first names. I spoke not as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief or President, but as a grateful citizen of Russia who grieves over this loss. We will remember their courage and chivalry; we will remember them as real men and courageous warriors.

Comrade officers,

The large-scale operation in Syria went on for more than 5 months in a complicated region, far from Russia, and you have done your duty with honour by protecting the security of your country and your people at faraway frontiers. The tasks you were set have been generally met, troops are returning to their regular deployment locations, returning home, to Russia.

I would like to note here, for this audience and for the entire country: Russia’s main agenda today is that of peace. It has to do with developing the economy in complicated conditions, with maintaining and improving the wellbeing of our people. However, without ensuring our security, without creating a battle-ready, modern and efficient Army and Navy we would not resolve a single task. Moreover, the very existence of a sovereign and independent Russia would not be possible without it.

It is very symbolic that we are honouring you in the legendary St George hall that holds the history of Russia’s military glory along with the names of its great sons. Everything here is filled with the victorious spirit of Russian warriors. Our officers and men have demonstrated yet again that they are courageous, noble, strong-willed warriors, true to their Fatherland

Thank you for your service. I thank all the participants of the military operation in Syria. Thank you.

Allow me now to move on to the presentation of state decorations. I will not be able to present them all today. I will present them to some of you; however, I assure you that we know how each one of you did your duty.

Thank you.

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17 Responses to A very important speech by Vladimir Putin

  1. Jeanine Hoefnagels says:

    This man should have the WORLD PEACE PRIZE………. Greetings, jeanine; from the Netherlands.

    2016-03-18 18:34 GMT+01:00 Co-Creating Our Future on Planet Earth :

    > Jean posted: “As I put this out for your contemplation, I can’t help but > wonder what you all might think, and particularly what our veterans and > their families might think. . . ~J > http://www.sott.net/article/314728-A-very-important-speech-by-Vladimir-Putin > The Sa” >

  2. Bill says:

    Jean, Every time I hear or read one of this man’s speeches, I am more impressed and respectful!

  3. Marty Martindale says:

    As a Viet Nam Vet, all I can say is, We should be so lucky to have a REAL Comander in Cheif instead of the Beaurocratic,military industrial complex Puppets we’re stuck with. Our Vetrans continue to be at the bottom of the list of priorities with most of our Gov. officials. We responded when called, served with honor, pride and dignity and then get left as expendable trash when we were done. Now we get used as political promises only to be forgotten after the elections… More than Sad, it’s discraceful.

    • Jean says:

      Marty, when I read his words this morning, I became so emotional. Look at the clowns we have running this country! We are so divided and arguing about things that don’t matter at all. If you want to see how a real Commander in Chief works with everyone – and I mean everyone, from the lowest to the highest, please find the time to watch Crimea, The Way Back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t42-71RpRgI . Share it widely!

      Most people don’t seem to understand what is happening to us, and they seem unwilling to slow down and take a look.

      Anyway, thank you for your comment. It helps me to feel not so very alone . . . Hugs, ~Jean

      • HeliTramp says:

        Hello Jean. I have read your reply above to Marty. As background, I too am a VietVet, served with the Australian Navy attached as a special unit with American Army in the Delta region. We did our duty. Marty hits the nail on the head. Nothing is different here with Vets. Just unwitting pawns. I remain angered at our politicians self appointed perks. The point about you feeling alone? I’m so sad you should feel so and I would like to offer that I could never concede that to be the case with you. I would like to say y
        ou have certainly been my beacon since I Isubscribed over a year ago. I am a part of your silent majority! Take good care of yourself.

        • Jean says:

          Thank you, HellTramp! Here is what is so painful for me. We are in a process, and I see a way forward, but it seems that others do not. Sometimes, it is hard to sit back and allow the process to unfold, especially when we are told to share with those for whom we care — and they simply cannot hear 🙂 not yet, anyway. Years ago, as a very young person, a professor told me that I saw right to the heart of the matter, and others didn’t like it. One of my lessons in life was to allow the universe to unfold in its own way, but today it has been very, very hard for me, maybe because I know growth entails pain, whether or not we may want to agree with that idea — but I know from my experience that it is true, and I don’t want people to suffer . . . I wish they would awaken 🙂 Please, also take time to watch Crimea, the Way Home. . . it shows what a wonderful Commander and Chief Putin is. . . I left the link here for Marty, I think, under a comment on this article. Hugs, ~Jean

    • daisyloveall says:

      Yes as you said — it is more than Sad — it’s [very] disgraceful.
      Putin is showing us (not that he’s trying to prove anything to anyone) what a GOOD leader with his heart at the right place can do with the gifts and services of the people. We can move mountains together!

      I do believe we the people will learn from our disgraceful history by which is partly our fault for not being vigilant with our leaders in not holding them responsible for their wrongs and not demanding higher standards. We cannot toss all the blame on our leaders. We were asleep and lazy.

      All these events — the refreshing & inspiring new directions of Russia & China, and even our own disgraceful state — all work together for good and does contribute to awakened us. We are learning a lot every day as we witness all that is happening. We know more and more what we don’t need and what is important and necessary. I strongly believe that a very bright future awaits us all …. let’s keep the faith.

      Love you all….Much Blessings!

      • Jean says:

        Thank you so much for sharing. . . It has been a very difficult day for me . . . I see what we need to learn, and it seems people are still too busy to settle down ad learn. I hope this changes . . . Hugs, ~Jean

  4. daisyloveall says:

    His speech is quite moving — because of much respect and value is given to his COMRADES! I don’t feel that he places himself above them, that they are one in purpose and the glory is shared to all for it belongs to them all. It’s very beautiful…inspiring…and bonding.

  5. I agree with the rest of the comments here and join them in their emotion and respect for this leader and his respect and openness with his people. I swelled with pride for his country, his people and this world as I read and drew the comparison with the leaders in this country. I wonder what it is like to have such a leader that earns respect and esteem from his people as well as those in other countries? May Americans soon be able to say the same of our leaders!

    • Jean says:

      Thank you! As I watched – again – last night to Crimea, the Way Back, I was impressed with how so many ‘everyday’ citizens were truly important to the success of battle that allowed the people of Crimea to vote. I can’t help but wonder how many will find the time to watch this video to see what was required, by Putin himself, before he would step to the line and help – and may well be required of us – if we want to be free. Look at how different the citizens of Crimea are from us Americans. What is it going to take to change our minds? I’m so very concerned at how many people believe someone else is going to save this situation. Why should they? It will never resolve our problems, not over the long haul, and I doubt very much even in the short haul. It ain’t easy, people, and just watching the news and informing ourselves in my opinion isn’t going to resolve the problems in our country. Neither is one man, the new President, whoever he may be, going to resolve these problems – if American citizens still choose to asleep! Hugs, ~Jean

      • daisyloveall says:

        Jean, I always appreciate reading your point of view and concerns.

        For sure the people needs to be informed before they can be awaken. Have you checked the newsbuds effort by Sibel Edmonds supported by Pepe Escobar and another dozen great journalist.


        Personally, I believe this is a great idea and will help in great stride to inform the people. There’s only 25 days left (out of 60) and they only have reached less than 25 % of their goal.


        • Jean says:

          Daisy, I agree totally with your comment. Newsbuds would be a very important source of media for us all. I’ve publicized it twice, and I don’t know what else I can do. I guess people aren’t hurting enough yet to realize the value. I don’t know what else to say, except that it is very discouraging. . .

          Thanks and hugs,

          • daisyloveall says:

            Oh! I didn’t see that you advertised them twice. Great. I’m happy you agree that this is a good effort. For sure I’ll be disappointed if the people doesn’t respond and back the newsbuds willingness to provide great media coverage. I appreciate very much that you have publicized them twice. You did do what you needed to do. And beyond that it is the people’s choice. I hope something will happen that newsbuds will get the backers needed. Let us pray for that. That’s something else we can do that I haven’t done so far, beside wishing every day since I was made aware of their effort.

            Thanks and many blessings,

            • Jean says:

              Daisy, many things are going to change – quickly. I’m hoping people will wake up in time. . . 🙂 I also found another post to go up. . . Hugs, ~Jean

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