The President also presented special decorations For Beneficence, recognising significant contributions to philanthropic and public work, to Viktor Vekselberg and Alisher Usmanov.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
It is a great pleasure to welcome to the Kremlin everyone taking part in this presentation of state decorations today.
Let me start by congratulating with all my heart those whose outstanding achievements in their professional, military or social activity have earned the country’s high recognition.
You represent the fields of science, education, culture, spiritual life, industry, agriculture, and the mass media. What unites you is your high level of craft and skill, and your ability to work with complete dedication, and most important, to achieve your goals.
Your labour, sense of responsibility, and personal qualities provide moral and professional beacons for thousands, if not millions, of people, and this is no less important than the results you have achieved.
Our history has known many moments when scientists inspired by innovative ideas made memorable discoveries, when a newly created masterpiece went on to give birth to entire new currents in culture and the arts, or when the courage of past heroes inspired their descendants and led them to accomplish bold and original new feats.
Test pilot Valery Potashov, for example, was raised on the glorious traditions of our country’s pilots and has risked his life on many on occasion. He deservedly receives the Gold Star medal of the Hero of the Russian Federation.
The representatives of our country’s healthcare system present today are worthy successors to past traditions and create new professional traditions. They include Renat Akchurin, Sergei Mironov, and Vladimir Kharchenko.
Many of those present today have earned a reputation not only as top-class specialists but also as talented mentors. Such is the case of ship repair worker Valery Grigorovich, reindeer herder Maria Shcherbakova, and electrician Yury Pushkin, who actively share their rich experience and pass on their skills to the young generation.
I want to make particular mention of the importance of the spiritual mentorship to which Metropolitan Panteleimon of Yaroslavl and Rostov and Archimandrite Tikhon have devoted themselves, and also their tremendous contribution to preserving our country’s cultural and historical heritage.
The arts community representatives receiving decorations today have also made a significant contribution to Russian culture. This is certainly true of Vasily Livanov, a ‘people’s artist’ in the full sense of the world, beloved by all generations, and Alexander Maslyakov, the longstanding head of the Club of the Merry and Ingenious [KVN].
Friends, the names that sounded just now in this hall deserve particular words, for each of them represents a unique personality, talent, and tireless labour. You are following your roads through life with honour, and your achievements contribute to our country’s successful development.
I thank you all sincerely and congratulate you on these deserved awards. I wish you good health, prosperity, and new achievements.
Thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin: Friends, let me say just a few more words in conclusion.
State decorations and honorary titles are awarded for specific work results or for the totality of a person’s achievements, but in both cases, what they signify is that each of you climbs a little higher and makes your field or job a little better and more reliable.
This is your collective achievement. As is tradition, present here today are not only people of different ages and generations, but people from very different walks of life, and all of you together are raising our country bit by bit. It is in this way, slowly but surely, that we will keep moving forward.
Thank you for your work and achievements. I wish you new success and achievements for the good of our country.