Presentation of state awards 2018-11-27 14:30:00 The Kremlin, Moscow The presentation of state awards took place at the Kremlin’s St Catherine Hall. Vladimir Putin presented orders, medals and honorary titles to notable Russian citizens: workers in the industry and agriculture, figures from the world of science, education and healthcare as well as entertainers, athletes and coaches. * * * Speech at the state awards ceremony President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, dear friends. I am pleased to welcome you here at the Kremlin and feel very honoured to award state decorations to notable citizens of this country, those who create and multiply its national riches in the economy, science, medicine, education, culture and sports; those who protect our nation and serve it. Thanks to your hard work and talent, you have all managed to rise to the top of your professions and, importantly, to inspire others with your dedication, constant creative search, remarkable accomplishments and, of course, your sincere regard for Russia and the personal responsibility you feel for our country’s peace and prosperity. I am confident that this is the only attitude towards the homeland that can help achieve major breakthroughs and address the most ambitious and daring tasks, including those that require risk and courage. Sergei Ryzhikov is awarded the title of Hero of Russia and the honorary title of Pilot Cosmonaut of the Russian Federation for his valour and his successful and lengthy space mission. We are proud of our cosmonaut squad, their professionalism and their enormous contribution to space exploration. A true heroic deed has no period of limitation. Next year we will mark the 30th anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. This event is inextricably linked with the name of Boris Gromov, a Hero of the Soviet Union. He was a general who truly epitomised the honour and valour of Russian officers and did a lot to support his comrades in arms and all the veterans. Friends, We have invited scholars, engineers, designers and representatives of major research and technology and industrial corporations here. Your quest for all things new and your forward-looking projects are very important for national development and for realising the country’s rich intellectual potential. President of the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute Mikhail Kovalchuk has been awarded a high state decoration. The Kurchatov Institute, its experiments and the results of its research in physics have been recognised worldwide. I am delighted to see our renowned masters of culture here. The unrivalled Inna Churikova and her colleague from the Lenkom Theatre, popular theatre and film actor Alexander Zbruyev devoted their entire lives to their profession. Lev Leshchenko has forever won the people’s hearts with his talent. Many generations of our people know the unique voice of Igor Kirillov. Over the past few years, Russia has taken great strides in sports – let us just put it like this –despite the adverse external factors. Top coaches are training and encouraging the progress of our outstanding athletes. State decorations will be presented today to a large group of these wonderful coaches. We recently marked the 80th anniversary of the official recognition of sambo, a martial art that was created in Russia. It continues to develop and has won international recognition and many new fans, largely thanks to President of the Russian Sambo Federation Sergei Yeliseyev and chief coach of the Russian national sambo team Yury Borisochkin. Friends, I wholeheartedly congratulate you on your achievements and victories, for which you have been awarded these high state decorations. I would like to wish you every success. All the best. Thank you. <…> Vladimir Putin: Friends, To conclude this ceremony I would like to add a few words inspired by what one of you has said here. Our colleague said that the difficulties we are now facing would pass. I would argue that the further we advance and the higher we move the more challenges we will face. But the guarantee of overcoming these adversities – and doing it brilliantly – is people like you, as well as your teachers and pupils. I would like to congratulate you once again. Thank you very much.