Putin’s Military Reforms: 20 Years Later and Russia Has an Army Again, National Pride Again!
The 23rd of February, 2019, Kremlin. The commander in chief is talking about new weaponry that has no analogs in the world.
Vladimir Putin: «In any case, there are no analogs for now, and, I think, there won't be for a long time».
The 23rd of February, 2001, a similar solemn event — entirely different mood.
Vladimir Putin: “The last ten years have been very hard, even dramatic, for the Russian military. Events of the recent years have shown that there's a very simple alternative for our country: either Russia will be strong… Or there will be no Russia.”
Poor, dirty, and despised: this is the state the Russian army was on the edge of the centuries. Mud in tents and food brought to the soldiers by the residents of nearby villages. It was not an exception but almost a rule.
Lyudmila Bogatenkova: «A jar of jam, a jar of pickle, cigarettes, socks. Literally anything we can share».
Vladimir Putin: «The vessels were standing idle, aircraft didn't fly. Unfortunately, there was a period at the beginning of the 1990s when they'd knock off service caps off of military officers in public transport. That was the overall public attitude towards the army. Let's not forget about it».
There are American flags waving over nuclear enterprises in Russia. The USA delegations technically rule the places. By the end of the 1990s, the army had been driven to the state when officers were not embarrassed to publicly speak about the treason on the part of the high commandment.
«We do have the idea of the duty and the homeland. Unfortunately, our high commandment doesn't».
Vladimir Shamanov, Russian Government: «Those ripped uniforms, felt boots with holes. That dry ration which was nothing to talk about. I'm proud that homeland defenders today are provided by the state with everything they need.»
Vladimir Putin: «Any time when fleet got weak the whole country felt worse as well. And any time when the fleet revived our country got back to its feet and could be called „a great nation“.
From the first day in his office, Putin attends to the issues of the army and fleet. Many material issues remained but the pivoting aspect of the army life returned: martial spirit.
Vladimir Putin: Please, present your estimations. Please, start. You may stay seated. I was sitting, and I'm praying you to.
— The one with higher ranking must be seated. The rest must stand.
— If you are standing, I'll be standing too. As will everyone.
— No, I can't.
Putin goes camping with the Marines, takes part in the mimetic warfare of the ground forces, visits landing troops' trainings.
Vladimir Putin: «I jumped a couple of times when going through special training. Although, I shouldn't boast about my first jump. If the jump-master didn't kick me, I might have never had the courage to do this».
The officers started to get their wages on time, and, for the first time in modern history, they got to be raised.
Vladimir Putin: «Of course, it's impossible to do immediately, to make a jump-start in this matter. However, starting on the 1st of January, there will be a raise for the rank. And, further on, we will be raising it».
Back then, Putin announced the rearmament program that was, in fact, a saving program for the army.
Vladimir Putin: “We are about to complete a large-scale work on the re-equipment of the army with the latest samples of weaponry and military hardware. A long-term military-technical policy is being developed now to achieve this purpose.”
In 2004 already, the president hints in quite a transparent way that Russia was about to create cutting-edge weaponry. But it seems that that signal was not heard in the West.
Vladimir Putin: «We'll do everything we can to ensure Russia's military invincibility and to enable the military organization of our country to reliably… I'd like to emphasize it — reliably neutralize any threat».
Many years later, the new weaponry is being supplied to the army. Now, the signal has been definitely heard.
Vladimir Putin: «The result of systematic, purposeful measures of the state and enormous, tense work of the scientists, designers, and the defense industry».
Vladimir Mikhailov, former Air Force Chief Staff: «The noise in the West is not just noise. It's a significant noise. It says about the prevailing of our armed forces».
Young ladies and little girls taking photos of themselves with aircraft and vessels.
Russia is proud again of its armed forces which truly deserve it.
Vladimir Putin: «Combat capability, training, coordination of action have improved dramatically. It is confirmed not only by large-scale training but in combat conditions as well, particularly the during counter-terrorist operation in Syria. They've been defending and are defending Russia's interests».
Russia's defense potential is to be strengthened further The President in his speech promises to continue the development of the armed forces.
Vladimir Putin: «As the commander-in-chief, I'm always confident in you, comrades military officers».