Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Russia’s military future with a host of top generals, admirals, and military minds, as well as 800 young, newly commissioned officers.
Putin spoke about the social benefits for servicemen and women, such as free housing, the successful completion of their missions in Syria, giving the Russian military invaluable combat experience, and her most advanced and secret weapons.
Putin said that new arms such as the worlds best ICBMs and the hypersonic Kinzhal missile, are “only a part of the modern weapons, which are being developed and fielded that will increase manyfold the potential of the Russian army.” This Vesti report has the details
President Putin’s speech took place in Saint Andrew’s Hall, the Imperial Throne Room, which is also the site of the presidential inaugurations.
The banquet took place in all main halls; it appears that the most senior rankings officers were naturally seated in Saint Andrew’s Hall, the blue and gold Imperial Throne room.
Officers of apparently higher ranks were seated in the adjoining Alexander Nevsky hall, with its red and gold scheme.
The young officers, seated in Saint George’s Hall looked like modern knights. All the uniforms fit brilliantly in the Grand Kremlin Palace, which is truly a building that symbolizes what Russia should be. The ivory hall is inscribed with the names of all the heroes who earned the Order of Saint George, so as the young officers looked up to their leaders, the Heroes of Holy Rus’ looked down on them.
Putin was not the only one to address the servicemen and women. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also spoke, and greeted Putin, the Supreme Commander of the Russian Military. As the major theme was “symbols of past glories” lighting the way for Russia’s future military achievements, Putin and Shoigu met before the Thrones of the Czars of All the Russias.
While Putin, as the commander of the military, spoke to the future for the armed forces, their achievements and goals that will soon be achieved, Shoigu, as Defense Minister, imparted some timeless wisdom on the hundreds of young officers.
When Shoigu spoke, it reminded me of a classic moment in a great Russian film, the barber of Siberia, directed by Nikita Mikhalkov, when Czar Alexander III addressed young officers. Watch the full movie here, there are english subtitles, but occasionally the characters actually speak english!
Like Batyushka (Little Father – the Czar), Shoigu spoke to the officers in a fatherly way, reminding them to always follow the warrior’s code of Chivalric Russian Heroes.
One of the classic Russian commandments for officers, the Defense Minister quoted, as:
Your soul belongs to God, your heart to a woman, your duty to the Fatherland, but your honor…sell your honor to no one.
Of course, there was also time for group photos.
It is worth noting that the differences in uniforms reflect different Russian armed services. In a broad sense, while they are not “military” per say Russian security services like the FSB, and even the police are technically armed services.
In Russia, every police officer is a member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who provide for a single command for all police across Russia. As a result, al these services including the FSB work together in order to defend Russia. Russians feel it is best that the state oversee all these aspects in a unified way.
For more pictures, see below: