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    RUSSIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH VETERANS IN KHABAROVSK

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    KHABAROVSK, February 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin met with veterans in Khabarovsk (center of the Khabarovsk territory in the Far East).

    At the meeting, veterans wished the president to be healthy, successful and win the elections. The meeting participants said they fully support the president in what he does.

    Mr. Putin said he is perfectly aware of "the veterans being the basis of the state." After the meeting, the Russian president laid flowers to a memorial to those who perished in local wars and conflicts. The memorial had been erected toward the 65th anniversary of the Khabarovsk territory establishment. It was unveiled on December 27, 2003 on the day of commemoration of warriors who died in action.

    143 last names of the territory's residents who died on Lake Khasan, the Khalkhin-Gol river, Damansky island, in Angola, Nagorny Karabakh, Armenia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and the Chechen republic are written on three pylons of black granite.

    The veterans explained to the president that the memorial was specially built near the memorial to those killed in WWII.

    "They did the right thing. They defended their country in all conflicts," Vladimir Putin said.

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