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Putin: Over 20 aircraft, 1,000 personnel withdrawn from Syria over past days

The experience of the operation in Syria must be used to the full extent in training Russian military personnel, Putin believes

MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. Over the past several days more than 20 aircraft and 1,000 personnel have been withdrawn from Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the alumni of military academies at a reception on Thursday.

"This withdrawal is continuing now. Only over the past several days, 13 planes, 14 helicopters and 1,140 personnel have been pulled out," Putin said, stressing that all these people had combat experience.

The Russian leader noted that the pullout of Russian forces from Syria began as he arrived at the Russian base in Hmeimim in December 2017.

"You and your fellow servicemen together with them will fully use this experience of the personnel’s combat training here in Russia to perform the most difficult and outstanding tasks during snap checks, strategic and tactical exercises, and learn how to use the unique new generation equipment, which the forces start receiving," Putin said. 

Syria experience

The experience of the operation in Syria must be used to the full extent in training Russian military personnel, Putin believes.

"The Russian army clearly demonstrated its growing potential and better coordination among military units in the struggle with terrorists in Syria," Putin said at a special ceremony honoring the graduates of military academies on Thursday. "All of you and your fellow servicemen are now to use the experience of that operation in combat training."

The president congratulated the newly-commissioned officers upon graduation. He recalled that the ceremony honoring the best graduates of military academies in the Kremlin was a good old tradition. These rooms, he said, were witnesses to the greatest events in Russian history and were adorned with the symbols of military glory and valor.

"I am certain that each of you has a keen sense of the timeline connecting generations and is aware it is the highest honor to be a Russian military officer and to continue the cause of faithful sons and daughters of the Motherland, the heroes who defended the freedom and independence of the country and protected the peace and security of our people," Putin said.

He recalled that the Russian officer class had invariably been a reliable pillar supporting the country and the best commanders were always distinguished by unbreakable willpower and determination and the readiness to sacrifice oneself for the sake of the nation and comrades-in-arms.

Putin is certain that commitment to centuries-old traditions is the key factor for the morale of the Army and Navy. It was also the source where modern Russia borrowed the strength and firmness for the current and future generations of Russian officers.