Birthday boy Putin is briefed by his best friend, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Syria, then goes to play hockey


October 7, 2015

Kremlin. ru

Translated by Kristina Rus

KR: Putin started his 63rd birthday with a meeting with his best friend, Sergey Shoigu (see more pics of their special bond below)

A meeting with the head of the Defense Ministry Sergei Shoigu

Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The Minister briefed the President on the operation of the Military-space forces of Russia in Syria.

Currently the Russian military-space forces are conducting an operation in support of Syrian government forces in the fight against terrorists and inflict strikes on the positions of the group “Islamic state” in this Arab Republic.

* * *

Sergei Shoigu: Vladimir Vladimirovich, in accordance with Your decision from the 30-th of September we continue to the mission of defeating ISIL, “Dzhabhat-An-Nusra” and other terrorist organizations in Syria. Since September 30 to date we struck 112 objects. The intensity of strikes is increasing. For the last two days of intensive work of different types of intelligence we discovered a large number of ISIS objects: command posts, ammunition depots, military equipment, training camps of militants. For their defeat in addition to aviation this morning we drew the ships of the Caspian flotilla.

Four rocket ships have launched 26 cruise sea-based missiles “Caliber” for 11 targets. According to the data of objective control all targets have been destroyed, civilian property was not damaged. The results of the strikes confirmed high efficiency of the missiles at greater distances – almost 1,500 kilometers.

23 attack aircraft also since the morning continue to strike blows to positions of fighters. During this time, since the 30-th, 19 command posts, 12 ammunition depots, 71 units of military equipment, factories, and shops producing explosives and improvised explosive devices, to install in vehicles and so forth, – six such shops and factories have been destroyed during this time. We continue working according to plan.

Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, we know how complex are operations such as of anti-terrorist nature, and, of course, it is early to make conclusions, but what has been done so far certainly deserves a high positive mark: the work of the Ministry of Defense in general and the work of specialists of the General staff, and those of our officers, servicemen who have been on the ground. Of course, special thanks deserve the pilots, who work in Syria, and, as the use of high-precision weapons has shown, the sailors of the Caspian flotilla.

The fact that we conducted these strikes from the Caspian sea at a distance of about 1,500 kilometers with high-precision weapons and hit all the intended targets, of course, speaks about the achievements of the enterprises of the military-industrial complex and good training of personnel.

However, we understand that conflicts of this kind should result in a political solution. This morning I again spoke on this subject with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. During the latest visit to Paris the French President, Mr Hollande expressed an interesting idea that would, in his opinion, attempt, anyway, to unite the efforts of government forces: the army of President Assad and the so-called Free Syrian army. However, we do not yet know where it is and who heads it. But assuming that it is in fact a military wing of the so-called healthy part of the opposition, if it were possible to unite their efforts in the fight against the common enemy, against the terrorist organisations: ISIL, “Dzhabhat-An-Nusra” and others of that ilk, then it would create good preconditions for further political settlement in Syria.

KR: After the briefing Putin went to play hockey on his birthday, opening the fifth season of the night (adult amateur) hockey league in Sochi.

P.S. Shoigu and Putin share quite a special bond, as seen below:

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