From Desk

The Russian Embassy in Ghana, has held a reception to mark the occasion of the 102th Anniversary of Motherland Defender’s Day, which is a Russian national holiday, celebrated on the 23rd of February.

On that day in 1918, the Russian Army (the Red Army), won their first battle, near the cities of Pskov and Narva, against the regular troops of Kaiser Germany, during the First World War, following after which in 1922, the day was officially declared the Day of the Red Army, and after another great victory in the Second World War, Russians have been celebrating this date as a national holiday, as the Day of the Soviet Army and Navy.

In 2006, in modern Russia, the 23rd of February was renamed “the Motherland Defender’s Day” and became an official day off, thus after more than a century, the day has become the integral part of Russian history – a real feast for men and women, who at any moment, are ready to defend their homeland.

On the Motherland Defender’s Day in Russia, Russians and their guests attend festive concerts and patriotic activities, with fireworks in many cities, as they congratulate, not only service men and women, but first of all – the veterans of the Great Patriotic War and other wars.

Traditionally, they lay flowers at memorable places, and in Moscow, the President of Russia solemnly lays a wreathe at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier, near the Kremlin walls.

In 2020, Russia will mark the 75th anniversary of its victory in the Great Patriotic War against fascism and Nazism; and this event is expected to include great celebrations on a national scale – a day sacred for all Russians – a symbol of courage and heroism of her Army, Navy, and all the Russian people.

Then there is a Victory Parade on the Red Square and a number of other grandiose events being prepared to commemorate national heroes and remember 27 million of compatriots, lost to the Second World War.

Today, Russians are proud of their modern Army’s success at the war against international terrorism, especially in Syria, as the army continues to play an important role in achieving peace in Syria – the Aerospace Forces group, ships and submarines of the Navy being guarantors of peace and stability in the country of Syria.

Russia promises that, in case of necessity, her Army is ready to guarantee security and stability anywhere, to protect not only herself, but her friends and allies – with many African countries whom Russia considers traditionally friendly.

The Russian Federation’s cooperation, rooted in the period of the joint fight against colonialism, has been strategic and long-standing – neither has the Soviet Union or the Russian Federation ever had colonies and military bases in Africa, but has rather, consistently supported the national liberation movements of the peoples of Africa, and made a significant contribution to the formation of young states and the development of their economics, as well as building up combat-ready armed forces.

Russia calls for increasing the role of African states in the resolution of local conflicts and at the same time, she invariably advocates the principle stipulating African solutions for African problems.

Terrorism, the spread of extremist ideology, transnational crime and piracy hamper the development of the African continent. Many countries face the sad consequences of the so-called Arab Spring, which has destabilized the situation in the whole of the North Africa and in the Sahara-Sahel area.

In this regard, Russia considers it important to expand joint efforts for combating terrorism and extremism, as the Russian Federation is planning to invigorate contacts between law enforcement agencies and security services of Russia and African countries, to coordinate efforts and exchange relevant information.

Russia is determined to continue training military personnel and law enforcement officers for African countries at the specialized Russian institutions.

Today, military personnel from twenty (20) African countries are studying at higher education institutions of the Russian Defence Ministry, for Russian military and military technical cooperation is aimed at strengthening African armed forces’ combat capability.

Russia has military technical cooperation agreements with over 30 countries (including Ghana) and African partners participate actively in Russia’s military forums and exercises, where they can see samples of up-to-date weapons and military equipment and learn how to operate it.

The Russian Federation had always been playing catch-up in the nuclear and missile race, but not anymore, as Russia now leads the race. Today, not a single country possesses hypersonic weapons, let alone continental-range hypersonic weapons, whiles Russia already has Kinzhal hypersonic missile systems in the field, and Peresvet laser combat systems, have already been deployed with the troops as well.

The Russian Federation has begun to equip the first regiment of the Strategic Missile Forces with the latest Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, and work on other systems is underway, including Sarmat boosted intercontinental ballistic missile; Zircon ground-and-sea-based hypersonic rockets; the Poseidon Unmanned Underwater Vehicle; and the Burevestnik nuclear-armed cruise missile.

Other systems have been fielded as well, including the ones that were tested during various exercises and in combat conditions in Syria, such as Kalibr cruise missiles.

Russia believes that there is the need for an armament in a modern and unstable World, to maintain the defence capability and defend Russia from different threats. However, it must be stated forcefully that Russia does not want wars and conflicts.

In this difficult period of instability and uncertainty in the world, when some countries ignore
international legal norms, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in January, proposed holding a summit between the leaders of Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States, in the year 2020; to discuss global problems.

President Putin said that, Moscow was ready for serious conversation with permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, that there was much to discuss and that the summit could happen anywhere in the world.

Happy holiday to the Russian Armed Forces! Happy holidays to the Motherland Defender’s Day. Long live Ghana! Long live peace in Africa and the whole world!

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