Col. Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, who commands the Russian military contingent in the Middle Eastern country, congratulated the personnel of the facility with the holiday and handed out awards to the most distinguished servicemen.
Dvornikov's speech preceded a ceremonial parade with participation of Hmeimim's personnel, as well as of aircraft located at the airbase.
On June 12, the Russian Federation celebrates Russia Day. On that day in 1990, the first Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) adopted a declaration on the republic’s sovereignty within the Soviet Union.
In 1992, the Supreme Soviet of Russia passed a resolution designating June 12 a public holiday and a non-working day in honor of the adoption of the declaration on the state sovereignty of Russia. On June 2, 1994 then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin issued an executive order declaring it a national holiday.