PUTIN SENDS GREETINGS TO COMMANDO GATHERING IN KREMLIN

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MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a message of greetings to participants of the reception in St George's Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace in honor of federal agencies' special forces.

In his message, read out to the attendees by Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Chekalin, Putin expresses certainty that the courage and competence of Russia's commandos and their ability to see and attain goals will help to further consolidate the nation's military might.

The commandos make no distinction between wartime and peacetime. They hardly ever have any time off; they are always ready to rush to a place where there is a threat to remove or an assignment to carry out. They safeguard national interests, ensuring public security. And they often risk their lives in countering terrorists and criminals, the message says.

By presidential decree, several Russian commandos of the Russian Interior Ministry have been awarded military decorations for the gallantry displayed during their service in the North Caucasus.

This year's Kremlin forum has brought together over 500 commandos of the Interior Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry, the Federal Security Service, the Justice Ministry, The Federal Guards Service, and the Foreign Intelligence Service.

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