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Russia needs strong army to defend peace — deputy defense minister

June 19, 2015, 12:13 UTC+3 KUBINKA

The image of a career military in the Russian society has changed for the better over the past few years

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© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

KUBINKA /Moscow Region/, June 18. /TASS/. Russia needs a strong army to stand for peace, Deputy Defense Minister Ruslan Tsalikov said at the Army-2015 weapons show near Moscow, adding that the image of a career military in the Russian society had changed for the better over the past few years.

"We do feel support from our society these days," said Tsalikov in his opening remarks at the Army and Society round table discussion.

"This by no means indicates we are warlike," Tsalikov said. "It is not a sign we threaten somebody. We have been peace-minded people all the way and we remain so. Our rhetoric is absolutely right and peaceful. We need strength to have the right to defend that rhetoric."

To illustrate the changes in society’s attitude to the military Tsalikov mentioned an example from the 1990s.

In those days, he recalled, he asked an army general to support him at a meeting at the Finance Ministry. The man agreed but he came to the Finance Ministry wearing a civilian suit, because he was shy to appear in military uniform.

"That state of the public mind was pretty close to madness. I can think of no other word for that. These days we have a very different picture. We do feel and appreciate the attitude of our society to Russia’s armed forces," Tsalikov said.

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