Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia has handed over an icon of St.George the Victory-Bearer to Colonel-General Georgy Shpak, commander of the Airborne Troops.
The ceremony was held after the Patriarch attended a service at the Elias the Prophet Church in downtown Moscow.
The Patriarch wished good health both to the general and to all the soldiers and officers serving the Fatherland.
Lieutenant-General Shpak congratulated the paratroopers on their professional holiday which is marked on August 2.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club that Russia will never initiate military actions, including with the use of nuclear weapons