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    PRESIDENT PUTIN: RUSSIA WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER ITS HEROES

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    MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti) - The state will never forget those doing heroic deeds in the name of the Fatherland, Vladimir Putin said at the official function on the 70th anniversary of instituting the title the Hero of the Soviet Union.

    "The Fatherland honours its heroes and will always cherish the memory of those awarded the Hero title post-mortem", the Russian president said.

    He noted that among the Heroes are soldiers of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, Afghanistan war (1979-1989) veterans, those who waged war in flashpoints, upheld the integrity and unity of Russia, are fighting against international terrorism.

    Putin stressed that the tradition of selfless serving the Fatherland is inherent in the multiethnic Russian people.

    "In our days patriotism, devotion to duty and honour are as before interconnected. Our contemporaries are storming space, saving people, barring the road for criminals and bandits", the president said. "At all times our land has been giving birth to courageous warriors, saints and trail-blazers, educating worthy sons and daughters of the Fatherland".

    Putin said that he is honoured to be today in the same hall with Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia.

    The president thanked the Moscow government, Moscow public relations committee for arranging a set of events marking the 70th anniversary of the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union. "All this is taking place on eve of the 60th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. I thank all those thinking of and taking care of it", Putin said.

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