Interfax, Russia
Dec 2 2013

GYUMRI (Armenia). Dec 2

President Vladimir Putin visited the 102nd military base of the
Russian Southern Military District on Monday.

The military base's commander, Andrei Ruzinsky, informed the president
about the current state of affairs at the base, saying that the
military base incorporates motorized infantry, tank and artillery
units, as well as general logistics units, whose arsenals consist of
BMP-2 armored vehicles, T-72B tanks, Buk M1-2 and Strela-10 missile
systems, Smerch multiple launch systems, Gvozdika self-propelled
artillery systems and other weaponry.

"The Gyumri military base differs from others in that it has an air
defense unit capable of detecting and hitting enemy targets at all
designated altitudes," Ruzinsky said.

The base is located in the historical Great Fortress, where a military
hospital (now the military staff ) and the St.Alexandra Church were
the first to have been built.

Putin visited the Church of St.Alexandra the Martyr, named after Tsar
Alexander II's wife. Father Andrei Vats said the church was restored
after an earthquake. He led Putin to the Wonder-Working Icon, saved
after a devastating earthquake in an Orthodox church in Armenia. He
also said that the icon was black when it was discovered, and the
faces of the saints could not be seen.

"The icon regained its original look on its own in three years,"
Father Andrei said.

Putin lit a candle and kissed the icon. Father Andrei presented the
Russian president with two icons painted by conscript servicemen,
representing Bishop Gregory of Armenia and Apostle St.Andew the
First Called.

Sd mk

From: A. Papazian