President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, friends,
Our outstanding fellow citizens have come to the Kremlin today. Their work, creative activities and their lives have become an inseparable part of our country’s history, and their victories and outstanding and unparalleled achievements are the pride of Russia and the Russian people.
I will start with the pilots. We all remember the Zhukovsky-Simferopol flight rescue outside Moscow this summer. In a challenging emergency, the crew acted professionally, efficiently and seamlessly. They acted with courage. Commander Damir Yusupov and co-pilot Georgy Murzin played the key role. They managed to land the plane literally in an open field and saved dozens of lives. These highly professional pilots were rightfully awarded the title of Heroes of Russia.
Reliability, fortitude, loyalty to civic duty and the ability to assume responsibility always inspire respect. The title Hero of Labour of Russia has been awarded to Magomedali Magomedov and Nikolai Ryzhkov. They were personally involved in resolving our country’s most complicated problems in very difficult times. Their experience, wisdom and authority continue to help them serve the cause of strengthening Russia’s statehood which relies on the unity of our multi-ethnic people. This was a great contribution to improving trust and mutual respect between the people of different ethnic backgrounds. Of course, representatives of the traditional religions of Russia make an enormous contribution to this important cause.
The position of public organisations and reputable political parties, which uphold the values that unite us and place Russia’s interests and its future above everything else, is also very important. I am convinced that everyone here has contributed to strengthening and developing our society. Today, we have a group of truly brilliant people in this audience, including representatives of leading enterprises, well-known doctors, teachers, educators, figures from the world of culture, art and sport.
Friends, you enjoy respect for your tremendous work and devotion to your calling. Alexandra Pakhmutova is endowed with such an amazing inner light. A great and humble person who created seminal music and songs that are our country’s treasure. Written in collaboration with your true co-songwriter Nikolai Dobronravov, these songs warm our hearts, bring joy and inspiration, give us hope, optimism and love. It is a great honour for me to present you, Madame Pakhmutova, with Russia’s highest award, the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle.
Friends, I cordially congratulate you on receiving these high state decorations. I wish you success, good health and happiness, and new achievements in your endeavours and new victories.
Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues,
Of course, I would like to say something to every person who spoke here, and I do have things to say. However, I will say just a few words.
Speaking a few minutes ago, Alexandra Pakhmutova said: You (that is, me) are at the helm of a great and legendary country. Thank you all for being part of our country.