Presentation of state decorations 2017-05-24 15:20:00 The Kremlin, Moscow In a ceremony at the Kremlin, close to thirty outstanding Russian citizens were awarded state decorations for their services in the fields of science, industry, culture, healthcare, and sport. Mr Putin also presented state decorations to several officers from the Russian Armed Forces’ Special Operations Forces for their services in the fight against terrorists in Syria. Over a period of two days, the servicemen provided cover for a frontline section in Aleppo Province, fighting off attacks from a large group of militants. The President had promised earlier to personally decorate the service members. * * * President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends. This ceremony to present state decorations at the Kremlin is not just an official ceremony, but is an act of high recognition of the achievements of our citizens, and it brings together exceptional, talented and genuinely unique individuals. I sincerely congratulate everyone receiving state decorations today. You have achieved important results for our country in a broad range of areas: the economy, the social sector, science, culture, and statebuilding. The records you have set in your labour, and your military feats and creative triumphs contribute directly to our country’s successful development and will serve our society for years, even decades to come. Protecting our country’s security and our citizens’ lives is a paramount task. We all know that work in this area demands courage, devotion, and sometimes even self-sacrifice. First-class test pilot Mikhail Belyayev has known many emergency situations over his career, moments that have pushed him to the limits of human capabilities, and has demonstrated top-notch pilot skills, courage and self-possession. He is awarded the title of Hero of Russia for his flawless professionalism and his contribution to developing the legendary MiG fighters. We have a whole constellation of wonderful and world-renowned Russian cultural figures present here today. Our ballet’s genuinely global fame is linked to the name of outstanding choreographer Yury Grigorovich. His works are memorable and original and incarnate his multifaceted talent and labour. These works are undeniably part of our national heritage. Here today is the brilliant conductor, musician and teacher Gennady Rozhdestvensky. His repertoire includes hundreds of works by composers representing different eras and styles, and he works with leading orchestras. He is deservedly called the pride of world performing. I am genuinely pleased to see here today President of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Irina Antonova. Your fruitful activity and devotion to museum work and education have earned our boundless respect. Your entire life affirms the great significance of culture. I congratulate the renowned actors, musicians, directors, influential doctors, scientists and teachers honoured here today. Let also us remember those working in the various trades, who give us examples of honest and conscientious work. In this respect, I note the achievements of tractor driver Alexander Dolgopolov, from Rostov Region. I thank everyone working on the land, producing the foodstuffs that guarantee our food security, and developing our industrial potential. Friends, people such as yourselves are acutely sensitive to the march of time and are often a step ahead and leading others on. This is the way that all innovations make their entry into life, and the way that pioneers gain their fame. One of these pioneers was cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. Your difficult and heroic flight will always remain a bright and unforgettable event in our history. One of our current active cosmonauts, Oleg Kononenko, who has taken part in several space expeditions, is decorated today. Once again, I congratulate you all on these decorations, friends, and I wish you good health, prosperity, and all the very best. Thank you. <…> Vladimir Putin: Friends, laureates, In her remarks, our famous coach [figure skating coach Tatyana Tarasova] said, “Believe in us and we will win!” Any of those honoured with awards today could say, “We believe in ourselves and we win”. Thank you for being such marvellous role models. Thank you.