Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a letter of greetings to the delegates and guests of the 13th congress of the Russian Red Cross Society. The message of greetings reads in part: "The [Red Cross] symbol is known and understood by all. The Red Cross means help and support, compassion and hope. The Russian Red Cross Society holds sacred and multiplies the traditions of one of the world's oldest humanitarian organisations. Today it is a powerful public force whose activity is aimed at easing sufferings and misfortunes of people victimised in armed conflicts, natural calamities and industrial disasters."