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VLADIVOSTOK, April 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has given high praise to the contribution the Russian military made to the maintenance and development of this country in the early years of this century’s first decade.
"I’d like to use this opportunity to thank one again the military who rescued the country on their shoulders at that difficult time, in the conditions of total under-financing and a pitiful standing of the Armed Forces," Putin said in a documentary film ‘The President’, which Rossiya One channel devoted to the 15th anniversary since his accession to the highest state posts.
"I express my profound respect for them," he said.
"If we didn’t have a military-industrial complex or the Armed Forces, we wouldn’t be able to resolve all the problems pertaining to the struggle with international terrorism," Putin said. "Prior to that, the material status of the Armed Forces was simply lamentable, and the moral condition was, too."
"We not only reassembled the Army at the peak of economic hardships in the early 2000’s," he said. "As I already said, although it had a nominal manpower of 1.3 million, I grappled with pooling together a force of 50,000. I bought in servicemen from the Far East and marines from the North Fleet - a taskforce of 50,000 combat-worthy men."
"And as for today, we can see a drastically different picture," Putin said.