In his televised New Year's address to the nation, Russia's President Vladimir Putin praises Russian servicemen fighting in Syria. Rough Cut-subtitled (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT-SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (December 31) commended Russian servicemen carrying out airstrikes in Syria. "We are grateful to all those people who are always on duty, day and night, working days and holidays. Today, I would like to congratulate especially those servicemen ... who fight international terrorism, stand for the national interests of Russia on the distant frontiers, showing commitment, decisiveness and firm character," Putin said in a televised New Year's address. Russia started its campaign of air strikes against militants in Syria on September 30, saying it wanted to help the Kremlin's main Middle East ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, defeat Islamic State and other militant groups. The New Year's address was broadcast to Russia's Far East regions many hours before it aired in Moscow, where the president's message is typically shown just before midnight. "Seconds are left before New Year. Let us wish achievements, joy and happiness to each other. Let us thank each other for understanding and support, for sympathy and delicacy, and for sure (let us) drink to Russia's thriving and welfare," the Russian leader said.