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    Putin instructs young officers in Kremlin

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    MOSCOW, June 28 (RIA Novosti) - Military development is an unquestionable priority, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday at a Kremlin gala reception in honor of military school graduates.

    "Serious conflict potential is still facing modern world, including the Russian borders. Terrorism and local wars are destabilizing countries and entire regions," Putin said.

    The Armed Forces should meet modern requirements and have the ability to adequately match the character of these threats, he said.

    "We are convinced that the Russian army and fleet need to be upgraded in all the major areas, be it planning, operative and military training, equipment, or military science and education," Putin said.

    Military personnel and Armed Forces command system have been upgraded, and new equipment and weapons provided to the troops, he said.

    Putin also said transition to a professional army would help increase efficiency. Russia currently has a conscripted army.

    The president said the young officers at the ceremony had graduated 60 years after victory in World War II. The soldiers on the fronts of that war "determined the destiny of Russia and the outcome of all of World War II."

    Putin said the Nazis were defeated mostly thanks to the military skills of Soviet military commanders.

    The head of state expressed confidence that "present Russian officers will be up to the mark, like their predecessors, and, as before, be the bulwark of national security."

    "You will serve your motherland decently and in all honesty, no matter where you are - from Kaliningrad [Russia's western exclave on the Baltic Sea] to the Far East, in the arctic altitudes or on the southern borders of the country."

    Then the president walked along the aligned graduates in the company of top military brass.

    The heads of military academies and universities reported to the Supreme Commander, also Putin's title according to the constitution, representing their institutions. Then the young officers raised their glasses to Putin and shouted "Hurray!" three times.

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