Russia has been marking Defenders of the Fatherland Day, a national holiday honouring the military.
With the Eternal Flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin, President Dmitry Medvedev was among those paying tribute.
He has used the event to say Russia must stop “patching up” old weapons and build new ones.
He also stressed the importance of improvements in living standards for those serving in the armed forces, saying changes were already showing positive results.
One success story of Moscow’s military reform is
the Tamanskaya Fifth Motorized Rifle Brigade. Its exploits in World War Two have already earned it a place in army history. Now it is also winning fame for its modernised living conditions. This, in a country where bullying and suicides in the military have caused alarm.
Elsewhere, Russia’s Communists marked Armed Forces Day with an anti-government demonstration. Amid calls for an increase in military pensions, many protesters still look back fondly to a very different era.
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