President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
Presenting state decorations is one of the most solemn ceremonies that take place here, at the Moscow Kremlin. It brings together outstanding citizens of this country, merited individuals who are, of course, extraordinary, and whose achievements are particularly valuable for Russia. Each of you has the highest achievements in your particular line of work. Your efforts and creativity, courage and wisdom serve to multiply Russia’s glory and pride.
Many of you have devoted years of hard work, impeccable government or military service to our Fatherland. However, it so happens that fate gives a person only a few minutes, if not moments, to accomplish something truly outstanding and to make a choice: either back out, or take a step into immortality.
I am talking about Magomed Nurbagandov, the police lieutenant from Dagestan, who is awarded the Star of Hero of the Russian Federation posthumously. His parents are here today.
I would like to tell you again, Mr Nurbagand Nurbagandov, and you, Mrs Kumsiyat Nurbagandova: you have raised a real man, a true warrior.
Our life comes to an end sooner or later, and this is not debatable, as they say. The issue at hand is something different, though. The issue is about how we live our lives, or, as in this case, how we pass from this life. Our officer showed what true officer’s honour is all about. Our entire country is grateful to you for your son.
Such lofty and poignant examples once again show the enormous importance of family, parents, and education. You tend to realise how important it is, from a young age, to instil in people a sense of duty, willingness to help and patriotism, and to raise honest, caring and generous people. These qualities form the basis of our national character.
It is not surprising that we have such strong traditions of labour dynasties and professional continuity. The Gagarin Cosmonaut Unit is a case in point, where not only professional experience and skills are passed on from generation to generation, but, most importantly, the spirit of brotherhood and selfless mentoring.
I am confident that Alexander Misurkin, head of the unit of cosmonauts, who was awarded the title of Hero of Russia, and his colleagues, cosmonauts Mikhail Tyurin and Maxim Surayev, will back that up. They have also been presented with high state awards.
Our religions are steeped in traditions of service, and spiritual and moral education. I am sincerely pleased to welcome the distinguished representatives of the Russian clergy — Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna, and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.
I should also note the great educational power of art. I would like to pay special tribute to the figures of culture who generously share their talent and expertise with their numerous students. Renowned masters, such as Boris Eifman, a brilliant director, Sergei Roldugin, an excellent musician, and our outstanding conductor and musician Valery Gergiev, who is loved, without any exaggeration, by millions of people around the world, provide remarkable examples.
Of course, those who work in the sphere of education are making a huge contribution to educating our younger generation. In this audience, they are represented by President of the Russian Academy of Education Lyudmila Verbitskaya, and Rector of Bauman University Anatoly Aleksandrov.
There is a place for mentoring and loyalty to traditions in any line of work. Progressive-minded and spiritually and morally strong people are well aware of it and are doing their best to promote their endeavours and to make sure that those who come to replace them will preserve and multiply their heritage.
Today, we have precisely such people in this audience. Your success and your great attitude to what you do, your personal involvement in the life of your students and young colleagues, help maintain continuity as they establish links between times and generations, and serve as an example of the utmost professionalism and loyalty to your calling and civic duty.
You definitely deserve the recognition of the state and society, and are worthy of high Russian awards.
I cordially congratulate you, and wish you all the best.
Vladimir Putin: Friends,
A member of a miner's family spoke to us a few minutes ago of our achievements in this area. They are, indeed, visible, considerable, and undeniable. However, he mentioned losses, as well. Perhaps, they are unavoidable.
Let us wish each other the fewest losses possible, and enjoy as many successes as we can.
Thank you for your good work!