"With the Great Patriotic War being still fresh in our memory, we realize that despite certain changes for the better the present-day world has not fully got rid of threats and military danger", Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday before the gala concert in the State Kremlin Palace, devoted to the 56th anniversary of the Victory. According to the minister, military threat "is glowing in numerous local conflicts, including those in the North Caucasus, the Balkans and Central Asia". "Under such conditions to maintain the Russian defense capability at a proper level is surely the most important task of the government. It is expressed in the increased attention and care displayed towards the Armed Forces by the government", stressed the minister. Ivanov noted: "Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, grandsons and great-grandsons of the soldiers of WWII have come to serve the Motherland. They continue the centuries-long traditions of the Russian army, aim at becoming a deserving replacement to the army and navy veterans, and are at guard of the Motherland's security". "The confirmation of the above-mentioned is the skill and selflessness of soldiers and officers displayed by them during the anti-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus, in the course of peacekeeping missions and on military duty", added the defense minister. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexis II, and head of the presidential administration Alexander Voloshin were present at the concert. The 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War Victory Banner was brought into the hall before the beginning of the concert.
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