Events in Crimea have demonstrated the high level of the Russian Armed Forces’ military training, President Vladimir Putin said Friday as he thanked the military deployed in the Crimean Peninsula for restraint and professionalism, ITAR-TASS reports.

“The recent events in Crimea were a very serious test and they showed the quality new capabilities of our Armed Forces, as well as the high morale of men and officers,” Putin said at a ceremony where top-rank officers were introduced to him on the occasion of promotions to high military ranks and positions.

Putin also thanked the commanders and servicemen of the Black Sea Fleet and other branches of the Armed Forces deployed in Crimea for the precise and professional actions that made it possible “to thwart provocations, avert bloodshed, and set the scene for a peaceful and free conduct of the referendum in Crimea.”

Putin said serious work is ahead to modernize the military infrastructure in Crimea.

“Also, it is important now to set up the subdivisions of the Interior Ministry, the Ministry for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (EMERCOM), the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), and the Investigations Committee in the newly formed constituent territories of the Russian Federation,” he said meaning Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

QHA