Prime Minister Vladimir Putin lays flowers at fallen heroes memorial during visit to 5th Guards Tamanskaya Separate Motorised Brigade


The prime minister inspected the barracks and prototypes of new equipment which will soon be provided to the Russian Armed Forces.

The prime minister began his visit to the famous Tamanskaya Brigade by laying flowers at a marble memorial inscribed with names of the service personnel killed in action during both recent Chechen campaigns.

After that, Vladimir Putin went to the barracks accompanied by Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Moscow Region Governor Boris Gromov. While inspecting rooms shared by three or four soldiers, equipped with bathrooms and bunk beds, the prime minister pointed out that contract service personnel should be offered more comfortable living conditions. "This looks temporary. We'll have to think about an alternative for professionals serving under contract," he said.

The 4,500 strong Tamanskaya Brigade includes 400 contract service personnel. The officers said that, starting this year, conscripts received 2,000 roubles a month, while those serving under contract received 25,000-35,000 roubles.

Prototypes of equipment that the Russian Armed Forces will receive soon were brought to the garrison's drill grounds for the prime minister's visit. He looked at a BTR-82A armoured vehicle with a 30-mm gun, a Typhoon armoured infantry transport based on the Kamaz and Ural trucks capable of carrying rifle troops with full gear, and the Tiger and Lynx light multirole armoured vehicles. When Putin approached the Typhoon, the back doors flew open and 15 soldiers jumped out, all armed with submachine guns, machine guns and grenade launchers.

The prime minister was especially interested in the Lynx SUV, designed by the Italian company Iveco. These vehicles will be manufactured in Russia under licence.

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